Romance and Mystery Novels

by Alina Adams

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Major congrats to Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto! While I'm not a huge fan of their style -- I'm rather lukewarm to the whole Igor Shpilband, all-Latin, all the time school of choreography -- it's undeniably a huge, huge, HUGE achievement for an American dance team, especially one so relatively young, to win the USA's first ever Olympic Silver in Ice Dancing (much less only the second medal of all time!). Excellent work!

(Plus, on a personal pride note... there's that whole Jewish connection...)

Congratulations also, to the Gold medal winners, Russia's Tatiana Navka and Roman Kostamarov on winning the Gold. The interview below, conducted prior to the 1998-1999 season, shows how much things can change in a few short years...

Byelorussian Ice-Dance Champion Tatiana Navka, 23, is betting that the third time is the charm as she prepares to enter international competition with her third partner, Roman Kostamarov.

Navka, who won "Skate America 1991" representing the USSR with partner Samuel Gezalian, later went on to skate for the republic of her birth, Belarus, with first Gezalian, then Nikolai Morozov. The latter team finished 13th at the 1997 World Championships, 16th at the 1998 Olympics Games, and 10th at the 1998 Worlds.

Defending her choice to change partners after finally breaking into the top ten on the world level, Navka said, "For me 10th place is not an adequate result. I had already been 7th (with Gezalian, in 1995). 10th for my team may have been considered an impressive result. I was happy, at first. But, when I began to really look at it, I saw that 10th was not a satisfactory enough result for me."

Navka, who previously trained with her coach/boyfriend, 1993 World Champion Alexandr Zhulin, in Simsbury, CT, relocated to the University of Delaware in the Spring of 1998. She and the Moscow-born Kostamarov are now being trained by 1980 Olympic Champions Linichuk and Karpanosov, coaches of 1998 World Champions Krylova & Ovsiannikov, and, at press time, were in the process of deciding whether they would represent Russia or Belarus in competition.

UPDATE: As many now know, Navka decided to skate for Russia, left Delaware to train with Zhulin in New Jersey, married him, gave birth to their daughter, Sasha, became World and now Olympic Champion!


  • At February 21, 2006 1:02 PM, Anonymous said…

    With Navaka & Kostamarov taking retirement, the Worlds will be pretty interesting. Go Belbin & Agosto!


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