Romance and Mystery Novels

by Alina Adams

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Thursday, January 05, 2006


I have done an utterly unscientific poll in my head, and I can't remember another year when so many potential figure skating Olympians were also parents.

The closest thing these Games have to a "shoo-in" in any discipline is Russia's Tatiana Navka, the reigning World Champion in Ice Dance with partner Roman Kostamarov. Her daughter, Sasha, is five years old. Little Sasha's dad is Tatiana and Roman's coach, Olympic Silver Medalist Alexander (another Sasha) Zhulin.

2001 World Ice Dance Champion from Italy Barbara Fusar Poli (with partner Maurizio Margaglio), who has been quoted as saying the Ice Dance competition in Turino will be between her team and the Russians, has a daughter herself, one and a half year old Giorgia.

Two-time World Bronze Medalist Michael Weiss is also a two-time dad.

But, even though Russia's Ekatarina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov were the parents of little Daria at the time they won their second Olympic Gold, my favorite Skating... With Children (Pairs Division)story is still Canada's Kristy Sargeant.

In 1992, at age seventeen, despite giving birth to a daughter, Triston, (Dad was Jamie Sale's one-time partner, Jason Turner) and losing her own pair-partner as a result, Kristy kept on skating.

She tried Singles for a while, emulating her older sister, 1990 Canadian Champion Lisa Sargeant-Driscoll.

But, when the chance came to return to Pairs with 1992 Olympian Kris Wirtz, Kristy left Triston with her parents in Alberta, and relocated to Quebec. (Actually, this is the part of the story that I think doesn't get nearly enough attention. How many parents, after their seventeen year old becomes a single mother, would so much as continue speaking to her or support her financially, much less take on the task of raising a toddler while their daughter pursues her dream of... say what?... Olympic Figure Skating???? If you ask me, Kristy is cool for getting her life together, and Kris is awesome for loving another man's child like his own, but who are the true heroes in this tale? Let's hear it for Mr. and Mrs. Sargeant!)

After competing at the 1994 Olympics, however, Kristy realized that, no matter how hard it would be to train while having Triston living with her, it was even harder without her. She and Kris, who had become romantically involved since pairing up, brought Triston to live with them. They said that having the little girl around helped them take their mind off skating.

The couple won two Canadian Pair titles in 1998 and 1999 and retired from skating in 2001 due to Kristy's second pregnancy. They tried a comeback after little Briana was born, but had to withdraw from the Canadian Nationals after the Short Program.

They currently live in Toronto with their two daughters, and coach at the Toronto Cricket Skating Club.

For more on skaters and their kids, check out Skating Baby Boom.


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