Ekaterina Gordeeva: Wikis


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Olympic medalist
Gordeeva and partner, late husband Sergei Grinkov compete in 1994.
Medal record
Figure skating
Competitor for  Soviet Union
Gold 1988 Calgary Pairs
Competitor for  Russia
Gold 1994 Lillehammer Pairs

Ekaterina Alexandrovna Gordeeva (Russian: Екатерина Александровна Гордеева) (born May 28, 1971) is a Russian (former Soviet) pair skater. Together with her late partner and husband Sergei Grinkov, she was the 1988 and 1994 Olympic Champion.



Often called "Katia", Gordeeva was born in Moscow, Soviet Union (now Russia) to Alexander Alexeyevich Gordeev and Elena Levovna Gordeeva. She has a younger sister, Maria Alexandrovna Gordeeva (born 1975), who lives in Moscow.[1][2] Gordeeva began skating at the age of four, in skates many sizes too big, wearing multiple pairs of socks because skates small enough for her feet were unavailable in the Soviet Union.[3] Her father wanted her to be a ballerina, but she wanted to skate.

Pairs career

Gordeeva began figure skating at age four, when she entered Children and Youth Sports School of CSKA in Moscow.[4] She was not a particularly strong jumper, and in August 1981,[5] coach Vladimir Zaharov paired 10-year-old Gordeeva with 14-year-old Sergei Grinkov. Their ages at the time they were paired actually became something of a mystery for fans (and are still reported incorrectly more often than not). The source of the mystery was an inconsistency between articles that cited their ages as 10 and 14 and articles published after his death — and indeed, Gordeeva's book (ghost authored by E.M. Swift), which stated that they were 11 and 15 at the time. It wasn't until a dedicated contributor to the fan club newsletter, with the help of Marina Zoueva (their principal choreographer), tracked down and asked the coach who paired them. Thanks to Zaharov's original coaching notes, the mystery was solved and the exact month they were paired became known.[5] At one point a coach insisted that Gordeeva pair with someone else, because Grinkov frequently missed practice. She refused. Instead, the pair changed coaches.[6]

They won the 1985 World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The following year they won the first of their four World Figure Skating 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,[7] 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.[8] 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.[9] 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.[10] 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.[10] They stopped performing the quad twist because it was not significantly improving their marks, making the added physical stress unnecessary.[citation needed]

By 1989, the skating partnership had blossomed into romance. 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.[7] 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.[11] They are often referred to simply as "G&G".[12]

After the Olympics, the pair returned to professional skating and moved to Simsbury, Connecticut.[7] During the 1994-95 season, they toured with Stars on Ice, this time as headliners.[citation needed] That year, Gordeeva was named one of the "50 Most Beautiful People" by People Magazine.[13] That summer, Gordeeva and Grinkov were chosen for induction into the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame and the pair planned to return to Stars on Ice for their fourth season with the tour.

On November 20, 1995, Sergei Grinkov collapsed on the ice and died at age 28 from a massive heart attack.[14] The pair were on the ice in Lake Placid, New York rehearsing for opening night of the upcoming tour. Doctors later discovered that Grinkov had a congenital heart condition which caused his death.[7]

Solo career

My Sergei : A Love Story Book Cover

In February 1996, Gordeeva returned to the ice, this time as a solo performer.[15] Her first solo performance was a tribute to her late husband,[7] skated to the 'Adagietto' section of Gustav Mahler's 'Symphony No. 5'. The number was publicly performed only twice, first at a preview performance at the Minto Skating Club in Ontario, Canada,[citation needed] and then on February 27, 1996, in a televised tribute to Grinkov, called "Celebration of a Life,"[11] in which numerous skating luminaries took part. Gordeeva has said that she felt as if she skated with Sergei that night, that she was "double strong" because she felt him with her.[6] The same year, with the aid of author E. M. Swift, she told her story in a book titled My Sergei: A Love Story.[3] In February 1998, CBS aired an eponymous docudrama based on the book. She published a second book in April, 1998, titled A Letter for Daria.

In 1998, she told an interviewer that "My life of great skating, and skating with him, is over, ... I don't try to go now for Olympics. I take skating for a job."[16]

Gordeeva returned to Stars on Ice as a solo skater in 1996 and toured with the show every year until 2000, when she took time off to give birth to her second daughter in June 2001. She has returned to the tour as a guest star many times, but has never returned to full-time touring. In addition to tours and shows, Gordeeva competed successfully as a professional solo skater, finishing as high as second place at the World Professional Championships (in 1998). She stopped competing in 2000, but continues to skate in professional skating tours, shows and competitions. While she has never returned to pair skating as a full-time endeavor, she has performed pair elements in many shows through the years with partners including Artur Dmitriev, Anton Sikharulidze, David Pelletier, and John Zimmerman. For the 1998-1999 season of Stars on Ice, she and fellow Russians Ilia Kulik, Elena Bechke, and Denis Petrov performed a quartet which showcased her pair skills, and in 1999-2000, she and Kulik skated a romantic duet during the tour. She also briefly returned to pairs skating during the 2008-09 season when she participated in a Russian reality television show called "Ice Age 2," which is similar to the American Show "Skating with Celebrities" or a figure skating version of "Dancing with the Stars." She was paired with Russian actor Egor Beroev, and together they won the show.

Gordeeva has signed several endorsement contracts, the most notable of which was with Target and led to two perfumes ("Katia" and "Katia Sport") which were sold through Target stores.[17] Gordeeva and her daughter, Daria, appeared in the 1997 holiday movie "Snowden on Ice" and Gordeeva appeared in the 1998 sequel, "Snowden's Raggedy Ann and Andy Holiday Show". She has represented Rolex and also appeared with Daria in a "Got Milk?" ad.[citation needed] In 2001, she was the subject of a Lenox figurine called "Katia's Celebration of Life", which depicts her performing a layback spin in the tribute she skated for Grinkov.[18] She also appeared in the 2003 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue as a featured athlete.[19] Also in 2003, she appeared on the ice for the first time with Daria. The pair performed a duet during a Mother's Day show and have taken the ice together several times since then, including two different versions of Amy Grant's 'Children of the World' at Kristi Yamaguchi's Family & Friends shows in the fall of 2005 and 2006. During that show in 2007, the mother-daughter duo became a trio when they were joined by Gordeeva's younger daughter, Liza, and all three skated together to 'Homesick' performed live by the Cheetah Girls. Daria gave up figure skating in 2007 to pursue other interests. She also joined her high school lacrosse team. Liza continues to skate. Katia also continues to honor the memory of her late husband in her efforts to raise heart disease awareness. During the Fall of 2007, she starred in "Skate for the Heart" a show designed to raise awareness of heart disease. She skated in honor of Sergei. In the fall of 2008, she flew to the United States from Russia during the taping of "Ice Age 2" in order to headline Skate for the Heart a second time. This time, she dedicated a number to the memory of her father, Alexander Gordeev, who died of an unexpected heart attack in the spring of 2008. In addition to her skating, Gordeeva has ventured into the arenas of coaching and choreography.[14]

Personal life

On June 15, 2001, Gordeeva gave birth to her second daughter, Elizaveta Ilinichna Kulik (also called Liza, a diminutive of the name Elizaveta, pronounced LEE-za), whose father is 1998 Winter Olympics men's gold medalist Ilia Kulik.[1][20] Gordeeva and Kulik married in a private ceremony in San Francisco on June 10, 2002.[21] They resided in California for several years before moving to Avon, Connecticut in 2003.[22] The family returned to the Los Angeles area in the Summer of 2007 and currently reside in Newport Beach, California. Gordeeva, Kulik, Daria and Elizaveta made their first televised appearance as a family for Kristi Yamaguchi's Friends and Family in 2005, and they repeated that appearance in the 2006 and 2007 versions of the show.[15] She and her family speak Russian at home, and travel to Russia frequently.[14][23]


Paired with Sergei Grinkov.

Event 1980-81 1985-86 1986-87 1987-88 1988-89 1989-90 1990-91 1991-92 1992-93 1993-94
Winter Olympics 1st 1st
World Championships 1st 1st 2nd 1st 1st
European Championships 2nd DSQ 1st 1st 1st
Russian Championships 1st
Soviet Championships 2nd 1st
Skate Canada International 1st 2nd
NHK Trophy 5th 1st
World Professional Championships 2nd 1st 1st 1st

See also


  1. ^ a b "Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov, Biography" (in Russian). gordeeva.com. http://www.gordeeva.com/about/index.shtml. Retrieved 2008-11-30. 
  2. ^ Voznesyuh, Dmitriy. "Ekaterina Gordeeva is going to spend a vacation in Moscow" (in Russian). Sportcom. http://sportcom.ru/sport/figurkat/news463d8a33.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-28. 
  3. ^ a b "Love of her life", People, March 25, 1996, http://www.pairsonice.net/gordeeva/magazines.php?mag=People, retrieved 2007-11-12 
  4. ^ Tatiana Tarasov and students. (In Russian)
  5. ^ a b Yu, Sylvia. "Marina's Muse." Grace & Gold Newsletter: The Official Publication of the Gordeeva & Grinkov Fan Club. Winter 1999. pp. 1&4.
  6. ^ a b "Love on Ice", AMI Specials, April 11, 2000, http://www.pairsonice.net/gordeeva/magazines.php?mag=AMI%20Specials, retrieved 2007-11-12 
  7. ^ a b c d e Then & Now: Ekaterina Gordeeva, CNN, June 22, 2005, http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/05/16/cnn25.tan.gordeeva/index.html, retrieved 2007-11-12 
  8. ^ Gordeeva, Ekaterina. My Sergei: A Love Story. Warner Books Inc., 1996. ISBN 0-446-52087-X.
  9. ^ Dadygeen S. (1988). "A secret of success" (in Russian). Soviet Sports. http://www.gordeeva.com/media/successecret_88.shtml. Retrieved 2008-12-07. 
  10. ^ a b Sheluhin A. (1988-02-28). "Ekaterina's Smile" (in Russian). Soviet Sports. http://www.gordeeva.com/media/katiassmile_88.shtml. Retrieved 2008-12-07. 
  11. ^ a b "Right on Target", International Figure Skating, July/August 1996, http://www.pairsonice.net/gordeeva/magazines.php?mag=International%20Figure%20Skating, retrieved 2007-11-12 
  12. ^ Kantrowitz, Barbara. "Beyond the Tears." People. December 11, 1995 Accessed 2007-11-12.
  13. ^ "Ekaterina Gordeeva", People, May 4, 1994, http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20108023,00.html, retrieved 2007-11-12 
  14. ^ a b c Korobatov, Yaroslav (2007-11-01). "We didn't want to advertise our love affair with Ilia Kulik" (in Russian). Komsomolskaja Pravda. http://www.kp.ru/daily/23995.3/78012/. Retrieved 2008-01-28. 
  15. ^ a b Vaytsehovskaya, Elena (2003-10-14). "Interview with Ekaterina Gordeeva" (in Russian). Sport Express. http://www.sport-express.ru/art.shtml?75862. Retrieved 2008-11-30. 
  16. ^ Lopez, Steve (January 26, 1998), "Life After The Glory", Time Magazine, http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,987720-1,00.html, retrieved 2007-11-12 
  17. ^ "Right on Target", International Figure Skating, March/April 2000, http://www.pairsonice.net/gordeeva/magazines.php?mag=International%20Figure%20Skating, retrieved 2007-11-12 
  18. ^ "Seen and Heard", International Figure Skating, October 2002, http://www.pairsonice.net/gordeeva/magazines.php?mag=International%20Figure%20Skating, retrieved 2007-11-12 
  19. ^ SI.com - Swimsuit Collection - Ekaterina Gordeeva
  20. ^ "Ekaterina Gordeeva: I don't want to loose ties with my homeland" (in Russian). sports.ru. http://www.sports.ru/others/figure-skating/6037423.html. Retrieved 2008-01-28. 
  21. ^ "Ekaterina Gordeeva", People, January 13, 2003, http://www.pairsonice.net/gordeeva/magazines.php?mag=People, retrieved 2007-11-12 
  22. ^ "Balancing Act", International Figure Skating, January/February 2004, http://www.pairsonice.net/gordeeva/magazines.php?mag=International%20Figure%20Skating, retrieved 2007-11-12 
  23. ^ "Interview with Ekaterina Gordeeva" (in Russian). sports.ru. http://www.sports.ru/others/figure-skating/5886263.html. Retrieved 2008-01-28. 


  • Gordeeva, Ekaterina. My Sergei: A Love Story. Warner Books Inc., 1996. ISBN 0-446-52087-X.

External links

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