Romance and Mystery Novels

by Alina Adams

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Friday, April 13, 2007


Translation of article by Sergey Dadigin published in the Russian Language Internet publication Express Gazeta on March 30,2007.

Stanislav Zhuk

Legendary coach Stanislav Zhuk is an epoch in figure skating. At the European, World and Olympic championships his pupils won 138 medals, 67 of which were gold medals! Zhuk was a tough, even sometime ruthless coach and his pupils disliked him, but after winning medals they always forgave him. International experts considered him a genius. But there were also rumors that he molested his young female skaters.

One of them, a beautiful brunette, Anna Kondrashova, was very popular with men. She caught the eye of Alex Fadeev, who was also practicing in the group of Stanislav Zhuk and who became World Champion in 1985. Anna did not have anything against Fadeev, but she complained that Zhuk was trying to take advantage of her. There were rumors that Zhuk was making advances to another young figure skater - Elena Vodioresova, but he denied that.

There were even rumors that Zhuk was imprisoned for his immoral activities, but it was a hoax. Nevertheless he was forced to retire from his post as a coach at the Army Sports Club at the age of 52. The campaign against Zhuk was headed by Anna Kondrashova and choreograph Marina Zueva. They asked Vodoresova to join the campaign, but she refused. Incidentally Zhuk brought Marina Zueva to work for the Army Sports Club after she could not find any work in sports due to the fact that she broke up with a powerful coach, Elena Tchaikovskya. Later Zhuk was very sorry that he brought Ms. Zueva in.

She not only wrote complaints, but she assisted in a move away from him of his pupils - Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergey Grinkov. Zhuk was accused of making sexual advances toward Gordeeva. As a result, Ekaterina and Sergey became pupils of choreograph Zueva and coach Leonovich. In relation to this switch it is interesting to mention that Leonovich himself was a student of Zhuk and skated in pair with Marina Peskova, with whom he became a vice-champion of Europe and the World.

Irina Rodnina

Zhuk wanted Irina Rodnina and Alex Ulanov to marry. And not only him. Everyone was expecting the handsome couple to marry soon.
When they became for the third time World Champions, they were invited to see Marshall Grechko, responsible for Army Sports. Marshall took out of the drawer a set of keys and told Irina and Alex: "Here are the keys to an apartment in the center of Moscow. Get married and the apartment is yours." Irina replied that she was not ready to marry and they lost the apartment.

Soon it became known that Ulanov was in love with another skater - Ludmila Smirnova and started skating with her, but this pair could never beat Rodnina and Zaitsev, who soon got married. It was mentioned that Rodnina married Zaitsev without love, since she could not forget Ulanov. The marriage did not last long, but Irina was grateful to Zaitsev and helped him to get a job as a coach at Lake Arrowhead.

Second marriage of Irina with a Russian speaking emigrant in the US - Leonid Minkovsky also went bad. It is funny, but the most opposition to this marriage came from Elena Tchaikovskya, who was not only a famous coach, but also a Major of the KGB. She meticulously wrote her reports on Rodnina. She reported to her handlers that Irina was planning to marry an American Jew.

Points of interest:

Irina Rodnina went back to Russia. She is one of the leaders of the movement - "Russia's Sports." In 2005, she ran for a post as President of the Russian Olympic Committee, but lost the race to Leonid Tjagachev.

Alex Ulanov lives now in the US. A few years ago he divorced Ludmila Smirnova.

Alexander Zaitsev for a long time could not find a job. Currently he is coaching children in California at Lake Arrowhead.

Anna Kondrashova married an Estonian sportsmen, lives in Tallinn and runs a figure skating school.

Elena Vodovezova became a chief figure skating coach at the Army Sports Club.

Marina Zueva is a choreograph and coach in Canada.

Stanislav Leonovich lives in France.


  • At April 13, 2007 8:37 AM, Anonymous said…

    Wow! The former Soviet Union figure skating world was a regular Peyton Place! This has made for very interesting reading.

  • At November 27, 2007 3:43 AM, bob Beresford said…

    great work here. met anna kondrashova in 1986 - top girl - exceptional grace and ability but lacked strength in landing the combis. that's what you can get with a very feminine build.


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