Romance and Mystery Novels

by Alina Adams

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Tuesday, October 12, 2004


Elena Valova, with partner and then husband Oleg Vassilliev, won Olympic Gold in Pair skating in 1984, and Olympic Silver in 1988. Though Elena asserts that “Olympic Champion is the most honorable title an athlete can achieve,” she is equally proud of her other titles. “Olympic silver medalist, three time World Champion, three time World silver medallist… because they show for how long we were on the top. You don't see this often in a skater's career.”

The team retired in 1988, because of “Age. It became hard to handle the intensity of practices and the pressure of the competitions.”

Exhausted from competing as an amatuer, Elena never enjoyed professional competition, though she lists touring with "Brian Boitano & Katarina Witt’s Skating" as a professional highlight. “Great skaters, a high level show and a friendly atmosphere!”

Elena moved to Pittsburgh, PA from Russia in 1997 with her second husband, German, and their son, Roman (now 8). Elena teaches skating at the Robert Morris University Island Sports Center, thrilled that, “My students, Kylie Gleason and Taylor Toth, were the 2002 US Champions in Juvenile Pairs and the 2003 US Champions in Intermediate pairs. My experience in skating really helps me in my teaching career and in my life generally. I can't believe how many people still remember me, and how many lives my skating affected in a good way. I just want to thank all of my fans for their love and support.”

Coming Thursday, October 13, 2004: US Pair Champion Danielle Hartsell!



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