Romance and Mystery Novels

by Alina Adams

For more info on my individual books, please visit!



Wednesday, March 15, 2006


It looks as if 2006 may be the last World Championship attempt for Russia's Maria Petrova and Alexei Tikhonov. Though they managed to win the top title in 2000, the pair never quite managed to ignite the figure skating world like their compatriot predecessors. (In a way, P&T were a lot like Eltsova & Bushkov. Another pair of workmanlike, uninspiring, Russian World Champions).

Still, their coach, Ludmilla Velikova, is a lovely person. I first met her in 1992, when Worlds were held in Oakland and I took her, Evgenia Shishkova and Vadim Naumov (yet another one-hit wonder, though very sweet, set of world champs) shopping at Walgreens, where all three gleefully stocked up on deodorant, perfume, and a host of other personal grooming items otherwise unavailable to them. So I root not so much for Petrova & Tikhonov as for Velikova -- from a sentimental perspective.

As a good luck charm, I thought I would run an interview that I did with Maria & Alexei in 1999, smack in the middle of their best season ever:

Though he admits that he would love to be World Champion, Alexei Tikhonov, 1999 European Pair Champion with Maria Petrova, stresses that the level of pair skating has improved dramatically in the 1999-2000 season.

He says, "There are currently several couples in the world that can battle for the top spot as equals. I like how Anton (Sikharulidze) and Elena (Bereznaia) skate. There's a reason they're two-time World Champions. But, this year, they'll have a tough road defending their title. There's the Canadians, Jamie Sale and David Pelletier. The French team (Abitbol & Bernadis) has changed their style, and it's very good. And, of course, the Chinese (Shen & Zhao). They haven't been too lucky so far, but, they'll deliver. And we're going to try to be the best, too. Masha and I have really gelled this season. We can put on a much more interesting show than last year."

After winning all three of their Grand Prix events, Tikhonov feels confident about competing in Year 2000. He explains, "Last year, everything happened so fast. It was a surprise we managed to achieve anything at all. This year, it's harder, because, we can't rest on our laurels. We have to progress, and focus on things like defending our European title, and challenging at Worlds."

One laurel he is willing to rest on, however, is the Russian National Championship.

Tikhonov says, "It won't be difficult to make the world team. There are only three good pairs in Russia, now. Elena and Anton, Masha and I, and Tanya (Totminina) and Maxim (Marinin). The other pairs haven't reached the elite level, yet. Maybe they haven't had enough time skating together. It's like the life-cycle of human beings, I guess. You have peaks and valleys. Russian pair skating is currently in a valley."

And the valley extends to financial matters. He admits, "The federation gives us a little money to train. But, when it comes to food and rent, we're living off money we earned last season. But, last year was a good year for us, we're very happy we earned enough to not only take care of ourselves, but help our families."

And even with Y2K fears looming, Tikhonov said, "For New Year's, I am going home to my parents and younger brother in Samara -- it's about an hour by plane from Moscow. I'm going New Year's Eve. Yes, I've heard that planes might fall out of the sky, but, I have no other free time. I have to go then."


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Previous Skaters