Romance and Mystery Novels

by Alina Adams

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Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Sunday, November 20, 2005 was the tenth anniversary of the death of two-time Olympic Pair Champion Sergei Grinkov.

A few weeks before he died, I worked with Sergei as an Associate Producer for ABC's "Skates of Gold III" show. At the event, Sergei was complaining of back pain -- when he and his wife/partner, Ekaterina Gordeeva, practiced their program, they left out all the lifts until the night of the show. Katya was concerned that they wouldn't be able to skate the season and was trying to think of ways to simplify their routines. It turned out that the back pain was a symptom of the heart problem that would eventually kill him.

After Sergei died, a majority of the news coverage used as their b-roll footage of Gordeeva & Grinkov winning Olympic Gold in 1994. A friend of mine who produced that coverage said, "Sergei would have hated that. It was his least favorite program because it was the only one where he made a mistake."

A year later, I worked on the 1996 U. S. Professional Figure Skating Championship, where Katya made her debut as a Single skater. The difference between the girl she'd been the previous November and the woman she was that next October proved striking, but not in the way I would have expected. I would have thought losing Sergei might have made Katya more introverted or distant, but it was the exact opposite.

As she explained in her pre-interview before the show, Sergei's death forced Katya to step outside the private world they shared. A world so satisfying and fulfilling that she never really saw a need for anyone else. While Sergei was alive, she'd had no interest in other people, and so didn't realize how many of them were truly her friends and cared about her as a person. It took Sergei's death to make her reach out and fully appreciate both her fellow "Stars on Ice" castmates as well as her fans.

Sergei and Katya's daughter, Daria Grinkova, turned 13 on November 11, 2005. She has her father's smile and her mother's poise on the ice, though she seems to only be skating for fun, not seriously. Also at her 1996 interview, Katya shared that Sergei always dreamed of his little girl learning -- karate!


  • At March 04, 2006 9:14 PM, Anonymous said…

    Great post! Very interesting detail. Just wanted to comment, that Daria's birthday is September 11, not November.

  • At March 05, 2006 5:15 PM, Anonymous said…

    You are absolutly right! In fact, I now remember September 11 as being Daria's birthday because of, well, September 11th. I don't know what I was thinking writing November.

    Thanks for stopping by!



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