Christmas - 1997

1997 Christmas interview with Katia for the Russian TV. The interviewer is Vitaly Melik-Karamov, a very respectable journalist in Russia. Video - 13:16 min: 9.9 Mb

Katia: The fact of the matter is that anything is possible, you should not say: "No, I won’t do that," because I like to skate, it gives me pleasures, and I feel alive when I am on the ice, especially when I am good at it. And it doesn’t really matter, if I... Well, it is still very important and difficult for me to imagine skating with someone else. But it is very interesting to me. Pair skating is always going to be my favorite of all figure skating disciplines. And when I look at other pairs skate, especially if they are good, I’m very pleased. Well, you can understand my feelings. I don’t know, maybe if there will be such a show, where I could skate... It has been done in the pas where a girl skated with one partner and then with another and then with a third one. I already had a similar experience when I skated with Vitia Petrenko for Disney’s "Beauty and the Beast”. It was very beautifully filmed; Vitia and I skated together there.

Vitaly Melik-Karamov: For those who is interested: Gordeeva and Petrenko are only good friends. Katia also quite successfully danced with a former club mate Alexey Tikhonov during a filming of an American documentary. But she does not see any constant partner by her side in the near future; she still skates by herself.
Katia: This season, Marina created three programs for me... The first one, Americans like it a lot, based on one of Charlie Chaplin’s films. It’s called "Smile". It is a very simple song and is close to any person’s heart. Because when you have troubles in life, you should smile anyway. All people have bad moments through which they should try to pass with a smile. This number is about that. I like it; it is very easy, not for competitions, though... Well, a good number.

Another number which I like very much, Marina has put to Gershwin’s "Three Preludes". It represents three different moods. One more number, which Marina created, is by Brazilian composer Lobos, “Brazilian Bachiana No. 5”. Marina’s idea was to tell a story how the human soul wants to fly, but people are not capable of flying. People still desire, I think especially women, to fly. The number is about that.

Vitaly Melik-Karamov: Marina is a choreographer, Marina Zueva, who has put together almost all of Gordeeva and Grinkov’s programs. Marina now lives in Canada; therefore we could not get her on our program. Looking at Katia’s smile, we decided to ask, whether she has been invited to Hollywood?
Katia: No, personally I have not received any such offers. My agents told me that Hollywood wanted to make a movie after Serezha died, but I refused because I don’t think it should be so.

Vitaly Melik-Karamov: We have found out, that after Serezha’s death, Katia lives with her father and mother both of whom are retired now. Father was a dancer with Alеksandrov ensemble (a dance company), mother worked for TASS. Every summer though they take their granddaughter and leave for their Moscow dacha. Nevertheless, it seemed to us, that Dasha is like a circus child who, as saying goes, was born in sawdust of an arena, is growing near a skating rink and, willy-nilly, will become a figure skater.
Katia: To tell you the truth, I would not say, that Dasha has always been around the rink since the early childhood. Because my mom has retired, she helps educating and upbringing Daria. When we were traveling for tours, performances, shows, competitions, Dasha stayed at home with mom. She was two years old when she asked us to buy her skates after seeing our skates. We bought her the skates right away. Of course she has seen our shows before and knew, that mom and dad skate in shows. Generally, she always liked the shows, but sometimes she fell asleep. Really, when she was little, we took her with us, but she was not with us all the time because it’s impossible. It is abnormal, I think. A child should have a normal childhood and if you have an opportunity to leave her at home why not use it. To grow up mentally healthy, I think, that the child should not be on the road, in the bus or in the plane. But I was very surprised when Danya asked us for the skates. Well, we put her on skates when she was two, she skated a little bit. Of course, when she sees the ice, she is asking to skate, but when we are at home she does not think about skating and never asks about it. Now she skates once a week. Since she is only five, I think, that it’s not too bad. I don’t want to train her, or tell her that she is going to be a great skater. She skates when she wants to; she has skates. She likes to skate with her friends a lot. She is a very sociable child. For example, she won’t train with me, she will not listen to me; she has a coach who trains her, she likes it.

Vitaly Melik-Karamov: When we were saying goodbyes and leaving the rink, Galina Zmievskaya said to us: "How can you talk bad about this girl, it is enough just to look her in the eyes." Once at a reception in Moscow, President Reagan first of all asked: "And where is Katia Gordeeva here." In America, she is incredibly popular.
Katia: Most likely it is because figure skating in general is very popular right now. The fans keep up with everything that goes on in figure skaters’ lives. After the tragedy with Serezha, I have got a lot of support, I received a huge amount of letters, I could not even imagine that so many people know me and know about us. I have received lots of letters, and all people knew about Dasha. I am grateful to this country for that. They have supported me during such a difficult moment and I have understood that people love me here and want to see me. It was even a shock for me, I did not expect it. Of course, I had a lot of support from all of my relatives in Russia and from all of my friends; and I still have their support. I have many friends and relatives in Russia. I don’t think that I’m that popular; there many people as popular and much more popular than I am in America. Well, popularity... I don’t know... It’s a strange question... I cannot explain a difference between popularity in Russia and... I know that people know and love me in Russia, but it doesn’t concern me that much. I know that I love Russia and I know that I have my relatives, my friends and those close to me there. There is a half of my life.

Vitaly Melik-Karamov: We talked about Moscow, Katia’s house on Smolenskaya embankment, talked about everything.
-As long as I remember, I saw you wearing only a training suit; tell me please, do you have dresses and shoes on heels. Do you have that kind of clothes in your wardrobe?
Katia (laughing): I have all kinds of dresses, shoes and suits. It just happens that we meet on a rink all the time. Of course, I have it. I like to dress up a lot. It’s just more comfortable to wear training suits.

Vitaly Melik-Karamov: And here is the last question, at parting.
-What do you feel, when you look at yourself in a mirror?
Katia: What do I feel? Well, it depends. Sometimes, I look and feel that I look awfully, it is better not to look. Sometimes, I look in a mirror and think: "What a beauty." And I want to go out and show myself to someone right away, other times I look at myself and want to stay home.

Vitaly Melik-Karamov: Probably, we would not want to leave such a house either, however it is only a guess. We piously followed the agreement not to break privacy. That is why we have not crossed a threshold of Gordeeva’s home. So write letters to: USA, state of Connecticut, the city of Simsbury, Katia Gordeeva.

Nobody's life, which seems from a distance magical and fantastic, is not so in reality. We have touched a life of a magical princess; she has grown up, became a queen and has gone through a terrible tragedy, but has survived. We are glad for her and wish her good luck.

Special thanks to Elena (evi) for the video