Yahoo! 24.03.1999

Yahoo!: Welcome, Katia, glad you could join us today...
Katia: Hi, I'm here and ready to answer the questions you might have. Very glad you're here, I'm sorry I'm a little bit late, but I just found out about this chat today!

Yahoo!: Hello. My 7-year old really enjoys watching ice skating. How old were you when you first started ice skating, and who are your favorite ice skaters?
Katia: I was four years old when I started skating back in Moscow in Russia. We had great skaters in the club where I started, Irina Rodnina and her partner Alexander Zaitsev. They were my heroes because they were from the same club. There was another team, Marina Cherkasova and her partner. They were a great team, too. I was always looking up to them.

Yahoo!: What was it like, growing up in Russia?
Katia: I had wonderful childhood. My parents were always very good to me. I went to the dance club where I was taking dance lessons and I enjoyed it very much too. We had a very nice apartment, I had a nice young sister, we played like any other kids. We had cold winters, warm beautiful summers, and beautiful springs. I had my grandparents with me. I had friends in my club and friends in my school also. I had a very happy childhood.

Yahoo!: If you weren't a skater, what would you have done for a career?
Katia: My father always wanted me to be a ballerina or to dance somewhere, and I think if not figure skating, then I probably would have been a dancer. I think so.

Yahoo!: How does it feel to be doing pairs skating again for SOI this year?
Katia: It's bringing a lot of joy because I really love pair skating and love pair skating tricks. Denis Petrov is a wonderful partner. And I feel very safe with him. And I enjoy the number we do together in SOI, especially because all four of us are Russian. Denis' partner Elena Bechke and Ilia Kulik are in the number. It's a nice song, and it feels good to skate with my friends.

Yahoo!: Has participating in the Four Corners number with Ilia and Denis made you want to pursue more pairs' skating routines in the future?
Katia: Maybe. It's hard to say now, but I really enjoy the number. If I ever have the chance, maybe I will skate pairs again.

Yahoo!: Hi, Katia, how did it feel when you did your first lift with Denis' in Four Corners?
Katia: It felt like I had been doing it for many, many years.

Yahoo!: What does it feel like, knowing that all of the people's eyes are on you when you're in the rink?
Katia: I'm used to it. And when I'm ready to show something to people, it feels great, because you know you can do well and people can enjoy your skating. But if you're not ready, it feels terrible, because you cannot do what the people are expecting from you.

Yahoo!: Are you going to skate in any more competitions this year?
Katia: Maybe in the fall, in 99, maybe. I'm not thinking about it right now because we're on tour and there are no competitions in the next few months. Maybe next fall.

Yahoo!: Where is your next show?
Katia: The next show is in Fairfax, Virginia.

Yahoo!: What was it like doing the show "Jeopardy"?
Katia: It was a first for me, and I don't think I had ever watched the show even on TV. It was a little hard to understand and follow the questions right away. But by the end, it was a lot of fun, and it was nice to cheer for Scott.
Yahoo!: My question is...What inspired you to work with the St. Jude Hospital in creating the Sergei Garden, and is the public welcome to the dedication?
Katia: My inspiration to work with St. Jude was the relationship with Target because they showed me and took me to the St. Jude Hospital. We were there with Daria the year before last. We just saw all the kids who were there and it was wonderful to meet them all. I'm very, very happy that I can be involved with St. Jude's Hospital. I really wanted to do something for kids, and I think the Sergei Grinkov Garden will be a nice place for them to relax, and I hope the garden will be very beautiful.

Yahoo!: Daria is such a beautiful little girl. How old is she now and how is she doing and I was wondering if she had any recollection of Sergei.
Katia: Daria is 6 1/2 years old now. Of course she has many memories. We talk about Sergei very often, and we keep all the records, pictures, and tapes, they're still on the walls and all. Sergei is always her father and she will always remember him. There can be another man, but there can never be another father for her
Yahoo!: How is Daria and your family doing these days? Is she in many sporting activities?
Katia: She is doing rhythmic gymnastics, and she also plays piano, and she swims a little and skates a little bit.

Yahoo!:What will you and Daria be doing this summer?
Katia: We are definitely going to go visit Russia again, because she has some friends there and she really enjoys spending summers there. And I don't know, maybe we'll go for vacation when she finishes school in June.

Yahoo!: Have you visited any place interesting for vacation?
Katia:She asked me to go to Hawaii, she was there one time and she still remembers it, from when she was three. Maybe Hawaii.

Yahoo!: How is your hand? I heard you injured it during an SOI performance
Katia: It's getting much better now, there was a little cut, but it's almost all better.

Yahoo!: Do you have any desire to go into acting someday?
Katia: Yes, that would be very interesting I think. I would love to. But I will be happy if it will be connected to skating somehow.

Yahoo!: Could you describe your skating practice? What do you do first, stroking, jumps, spins?
Katia: I always do stroking first, quite a lot, like about 10 minutes. Different steps, footwork, spins, a little bit of spins. Then jumps

Yahoo!: You always seem so collected on the ice. What sort of ritual do you go through beforehand to calm your nerves?
Katia: I am always very nervous before I go on the ice, almost every single night. I am trying to understand that I am going to go and enjoy my skating. I think it just comes with the years that you learn how to control yourself, to be a little bit more calm. And I think that a lot of my friends, especially in SOI, make me calmer because I feel very confident when I see them on the ice.

Yahoo!: What is one of the funniest moments that has happened on the SOI tour?
Katia: Steven Cousins, the skater from Great Britian, is with SOI this year, and he is a very funny person. He also thinks of things for all of us to do off the ice. He thought of the game where we had to get the water guns and play the game where we had to shoot each other. How do you say? Somebody would choose somebody, like I would have to shoot Tara Lipinski, we sort of played war games witih water pistols.