We freed ourselves off a heavy load


I waited for now two-time Olympic champions Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov for a long time. And here they are.
You won. What are your feelings?
Ekaterina Gordeeva: Now I don't feel anything. It was a very difficult medal...
Sergei Grinkov: When we were still thinking about returning to amateur sport, everybody told us: "Go back to amateur you have to win, you must win, you will win." This label "must" became a heavy load.

Are you going to stay amateur?
Ekaterina: I think we will leave. We probably won't go to the World championships in Japan. We will become pure professionals again.

But you planned to skate at Good Will Games in Saint Petersburg this August?
Ekaterina: Yes we did. It is possible we will skate there, maybe we will skate in Japan too.

Why do you think Sergei made a mistake in a long program?
Ekaterina: He was nervous. It was purely psychological mistake. We were trying so hard to do our best!

Were you scared when Sergei made a mistake?
Ekaterina: No, I just didn't see it. Then afterwards we didn't talk about it. I don't want to remind him of unpleasant things.

Which Olympics were more difficult for you, in Calgary or in Hamar?
Sergei: Definitely this competition and this program. You must understand, in Calgary we were too young, and when you are young everything seems so simple, you have everything ahead of you. And as well as I remember we were not that nervous in Calgary.

What is the difference between this Olympics and the last one?
Ekaterina: As far as pair skating goes, competition is much tougher. All the pairs were very strong, especially Americans and Canadians. And it is understandable. They are young. They try much harder than we do.

What do you think about Lloyd Eisler criticism? He said why did you came back after six year-break?
Ekaterina: It was ISU decision. Not all the professional returned, only those who felt they can skate well.

Who were you training with?
Sergei: With Vladimir Zakharov, coach from our CSKA club. By the way, Vladimir Viktorovich paired us with Katia. My future wife was 11 years old then, and I was 15. Marina Zueva helped us, she works in Canada now so we flew to her for help.

Did you live at her house?
Sergei: No, we rented a house because we had our little daughter Dasha and one of her grandmothers with us.

How was your life in professional sport?
Sergei: We worked for three years with American ice show "Stars on Ice." We spend almost all of our time in America, so we needed to find some cozy place and buy a house. Finally we found such a house in Florida. But we don't go there very often.

Tell me, who put your programs together?
Sergei: We had many choreographers but for the Olympics we worked exclusively with Zueva.

Why did you chose Beethoven's music?
Ekaterina: We had four choices of music, one of them was the second concert by Rachmaninov. Can you imagine what would happened if we skated to the same music as Natasha and Artur? Beethoven was Marina Zueva's idea. I think she made a good choice.

Daria Srebnitskaya, Hamar February 15. Copyright by © 1994 Soviet Sport
Special thanks to Oksana Volikova for this article.