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Sergei Grinkov

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Sergei Mikhailovich Grinkov (, - , ) was an and champion.

BiographyEdit

Sergei Grinkov was born in Moscow to parents Mikhail Kondrateyevich Grinkov and Anna Filipovna Grinkova. His parents were police. The younger of two children, he had an older sister named Natalia Mikhailovna Grinkova.

He first took the ice at the age of five, entering of in . As Sergei was not a strong solo skater, his coach decided to try him in pair skating — and in August 1981, at age fourteen he was paired with ten-year-old ("Katia") at the Central Red Army Club (CSKA) in Moscow by coach Vladimir Zaharov. After one year of being coached by Zaharov, Zaharov decided that Sergei was too lazy and that he would not coach him. Sergei's mother said, "Then will take him away from CSKA to a different club and he will become an ice dancer." (his mother said that pairs was the hardest discipline for a man.) The pair won the 1985 in . The following year they won the first of their four . They became repeat world champions the following year and won gold at the in , . After a fall in their long program, they took silver at the World Championships in 1988, but they reclaimed that title in 1989 and successfully defended it again in 1990. They turned professional in the fall of 1990. They won their first World Professional Championship in 1991, and went on to win that title two more times (1992 & 1994).

Grinkov and Gordeeva won virtually every competition they entered. In the 31 competitions they completed at the Senior and professional levels, they finished first an impressive 24 times. After winning their first World Championship in 1986, they never finished lower than second place. They are one of the few pair teams in history to successfully complete a quadruple twist lift in international competition, at the 1987 World Championships. They also completed the difficult maneuver at the 1987 European Championships, but due to a problem with Sergei's boot strap and a misunderstanding about the rules, they were disqualified from that event.

By 1989, their skating partnership had blossomed into romance. They shared their first kiss in their friend Alexander "Sasha" Fadeev's sauna. They married in April 1991 (the state wedding was on April 20, the church wedding was on April 28).

The following season was the first year they toured with Stars on Ice. They skated throughout the United States and Canada with the show, which ran from November 1991 through April 1992. Then, on September 11, 1992, Ekaterina gave birth to their daughter, Daria Sergeyevna Grinkova (nicknamed "Dasha"), born in Morristown, New Jersey. Shortly after Daria's birth, the pair was back on the ice training for the new season of Stars on Ice , which debuted the season that November and ran through April, 1993.

In 1994 Gordeeva & Grinkov took advantage of a one-time rule change which allowed professional skaters to regain their Olympic eligibility. Skaters in every discipline, including G&G, returned to Olympic competition. Gordeeva & Grinkov captured their second gold medal at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Oppland, Norway. They were the only reinstated skaters to win gold. Their fellow Russians, Artur Dmitriev and Natalia Mishkutenok, had won the gold in Albertville and thought that they should have won this year also. There is much controversy over this. After these Olympics, they returned once again to professional skating and took up residence, along with their daughter, in Simsbury, Connecticut. During the 1994-95 season, they toured, yet again, with Stars on Ice, this time as headliners. They won the World Professional Championships for the third time in December, 1994, earning ten perfect 10s (and nothing lower than a 9.9). Their last competition was at the 1995 Challenge of Champions which took place on January 7, 1995 in Tokyo, Japan where they skated to Verdi's "Requiem Mass." They won, earning four perfect 10s in their artistic mark. In the fall of 1995, they were preparing new programs and getting ready to return to Stars on Ice for a fourth season. On November 12, 1995, they appeared in an exhibition called Skates of Gold III in Albany, New York. They skated two numbers: Verdi's "Requiem Mass," and the Rolling Stones' "Out of Tears." It would be their final public performance together.

Sudden deathEdit

Tragedy struck in November 1995, when Sergei Grinkov collapsed and died from a massive heart attack, while he and Ekaterina were practicing for the upcoming 1995-1996 Stars on Ice tour. Doctors found that Sergei had severely clogged coronary arteries (to the point where his arterial opening was reportedly the size of a pinhole), which caused the heart attack; later testing revealed that he also had a genetic risk factor linked with premature heart attacks. Researchers proposed calling the gene the "Grinkov Risk Factor." Sergei Grinkov was 28 years old.

Sergei Grinkov is interred in the in Moscow. Ekaterina Gordeeva, his widow, along with an all-star cast, skated a tribute in Sergei's honor titled "Celebration of a Life" in February 1996 which was later televised. Ekaterina also authored a book about their life and partnership titled 'My Sergei', which was later turned into a television movie/docudrama and released on DVD. He was also the subject of a book, geared towards the 9-12 age group, titled They died too young: Sergei Grinkov written by Anne E. Hill. Gordeeva and Grinkov garner significant mention in numerous books about the world of figure skating, and Sergei was featured as one of the athletes in People Magazine's book, "Gone too Soon." Their daughter, Daria, took up skating seriously at the age of 9. She appeared with her mother in several skating shows through 2006, but quit skating to pursue other interests in 2007. Gordeeva continues to skate as a solo artist and married fellow Russian skater , with whom she shares a second daughter, in 2002. Fans around the world continue to commemorate Grinkov and G&G, and their skating lives on in countless videos available online and commercially. Ekaterina, also continues to honor the memory of her late husband and partner. In the fall of 2007, she was the headliner for "Skate for the Heart" a skating show televised nationally in the United States during the winter of 2008 with the goal of raising awareness of heart disease. She skated in honor of Sergei.


Quotes Edit

Our honor depends on our honesty.” — Sovetskiy Sport (Sergei Grinkov ).

In : “Наша честь зависит от нашей честности.” — Советский спорт от 15 апреля 1987 года.

Competitive highlightsEdit

Pairing with Ekaterina Gordeeva:

Event/Season 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994
- - 1st - - - DNC - 1st
Soviet/ 2nd 1st DNC DNC DNC - - - 1st
2nd DQ 1st DNC 1st - - - 1st
1st 1st 2nd 1st 1st - - - DNC
- - - - 2nd 1st 1st - 1st

References Edit

  • Gordeeva, Ekaterina. (1996). '. Warner Books Inc. ISBN 0-446-52087-X.
  • Gordeeva & Grinkov Corner. [1]
  • A Kind of Magic. [2]
  • My Sergei, written by Ekaterina Gordeeva with E.M. Swift
  • www.gordeeva.com

External links Edit

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