Ekaterina Gordeeva bigraphy, stories - Figure skater

Ekaterina Gordeeva : biography

28 May 1971 -

Ekaterina "Katia" Alexandrovna Gordeeva () (born May 28, 1971) is a Russian (former Soviet) figure skater. Together with her late partner and husband Sergei Grinkov, she was the 1988 and 1994 Olympic Champion and four-time World Champion in pair skating. After her husband's death, she continued performing as a singles skater.

Pairs career

Gordeeva began figure skating at age four, when she entered Children and Youth Sports School of CSKA Moscow. She was not a particularly strong jumper, and in August 1981, coach Vladimir Zaharov paired the 10-year-old Gordeeva with the 14-year-old Sergei Grinkov. Because Grinkov frequently missed practice, a coach eventually insisted that Gordeeva pair with someone else but she refused. Instead, the pair changed coaches.

Gordeeva and Grinkov won the 1985 World Junior Championships in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The following year they won the first of their four World Championships. They are one of the few pair teams to win back-to-back junior and senior World Championship titles. They successfully defended their World title in 1987 and then won gold at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, in spite of a nasty accident. In November 1987, Grinkov caught a blade on the ice during a practice session and dropped Gordeeva on her forehead. She was hospitalized for a time, but they were still able to compete in, and win, the 1988 Winter Olympics which began the following February. They remain the youngest pairs team ever to win Olympic gold. After a fall in their long program, they took silver at the World Championships in 1988, but reclaimed the title in 1989 and 1990. They turned professional in the fall 1990, winning their first World Professional Championship in 1991. They also won that title in 1992 and 1994.

Gordeeva and Grinkov won almost every competition they entered. In the 31 competitions whose results are known at the senior and professional levels, they finished first 24 times, and never lower than second from the time they won their first senior world title. They are one of the few pair teams in history to successfully complete a quadruple twist lift in international competition. They landed the difficult element with ease at the 1987 World Championships. They also completed the element at the 1987 European Championships, but due to a problem with Grinkov's boot strap and a misunderstanding about the rules (the referee signaled them to stop, going so far as to turn off their music but they continued skating), they were disqualified from that event. They stopped performing the quad twist because it was not significantly improving their marks, making the added physical stress unnecessary.

By 1989, the skating partnership had grown into a romantic relationship. They shared their first kiss on New Year's Eve 1988. They were married in April 1991. Their state wedding was on April 20, and the church wedding was on April 28. From November 1991 through April 1992, they toured with Stars on Ice for the first time. On September 11, 1992, their daughter, Daria Sergeyevna Grinkova, was born in Morristown, New Jersey. Shortly after Daria's birth, Gordeeva recommenced training for the new season of Stars on Ice, which premiered in November 1992 and continued through the following April.

When a new ISU rule allowed professional skaters to regain their Olympic eligibility, the pair decided to return to amateur competition for the 1993–94 season and skate in the Olympics. In 1994, the couple won their second Olympic gold medal in Lillehammer, Oppland, Norway. Arguably the most influential, celebrated, and highly decorated pair team in the history of the sport, many consider them to be the greatest pair team ever to take the ice. They are often referred to simply as "G&G". They were known for the quality of their basic skating technique: "Grinkov and Gordeeva had something special that was more easily appreciated in person. They didn't make noise when they skated. They moved so fluidly that their blades whispered over the ice rather than scratching at it."

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