Who doesn't like the "sparrow"? (Excerpt)

Somebody may say that figure skating is a conservative sport where a won respect automatically guarantees medals. And some of the facts from the 99-th European Championships confirm that statement.

I don't know about such guarantees, but after the pairs short program, favorites, Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov, came out to be third.

"I don't even remember when we got such low marks as 5,1, 5,0, 4,8!" — admitted Sergei Grinkov - "and for the technical skills..."
"And what is the cause for such a shaky start?"
"In short, a sequence of injuries and illnesses. That, as you understand, makes us nervous..."

But everything turned out all right. Those who saw the long program of Calgary Olympic champions, were convinced that the pair's skills are far above the rest. Only Gordeeva and Grinkov had a 6,0 for their program. So criticism in one of the Leningrad's newspapers saying that our leaders have no will to skate is inappropriate.

It happened that, I took the same train to Moscow as the two-time European Pairs Champions. We really didn't want to discuss the Championships, so we've talked about other things. The train we were traveling in was not on time, but that made Sergei Grinkov only joke a lot. There was a plenty of reasons to be in a good mood. The main one, I'm sure, is the Leningrad competition results. Trust me, there is a difference between winning easily without any competition and winning proving that you are the best in a tough struggle.

M. Bykov. Leningrad - Moscow 1990
Special thanks to Irina Bulgakova for this article