Coming Back


Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov, recent owners of all possible titles in pair figure skating, are coming back to the Olympic ice. After becoming professionals, Gordeeva and Grinkov nevertheless have kept the ideals of their athletic youth. And when the International Olympic committee has allowed professionals to skate at the next Olympics, Katia and Sergei have plunged into regular training atmosphere with pleasure: searching for new program music and difficult elements that will open road to victory.

Coming back of professionals to the amateur sport is a hard deal. The past titles do not guarantee new victories at all, though getting together professionals and amateurs will attract more interest to figure skating, already a popular sport. Even well known Canadian champions, Barbara Wagner and Robert Cole said once in an interview after leaving amateur sport for an ice theatre: “Certainly, the level of amateurs is immeasurably higher!” And it is understandable, since professionals do not have a goal of winning in any way possible, despite the obstacles and difficulties that arise at sports competitions.


Of course, skilled athletes as Gordeeva and Grinkov, with their coach Vladimir Zakharov understand all the complexity of problems facing them. It makes their work not only intensive (it is very difficult to get into shape in short time!), but also very creative. In fact, a new generation of talented skaters has grown up in Saint Petersburg school of Moskvins, also the 1992 Olympic champions, Natalia Mishkutenok and Arthur Dmitriev, have returned. There is a serious US and Canada competition. In a word, Olympic tournament among pairs is going to be hot, and nobody even tries to predict the results.

Katia and Sergei’s decision to return not only attracts interest, but deserves special respect. As it often happens, partners on the ice became husband and wife. The young family has the little son (author’s mistake - I.S.) (and Katia has not lost her former grace!). Family responsibilities increase the load of work for the couple but now they have someone to give their victory to; if, of course, Olympics will be favorable to them.

Photos by Anatoly Bochkin
Copyright © 1993 Fizkultura and Sport (Physical Culture and Sport).