Romance and Mystery Novels

by Alina Adams

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Thursday, November 29, 2007


Marina Anisina is getting married.

Translation of article by Sonya Ray a correspondent of the Russian language publication with Marina Anisina printed on November 14,2007.

Olympic champion in ice dancing Marina Anisina has decided to come back to Russia. All of her adult sports career she spent skating for France, where she moved in her youth when she could not find a partner in Russia.

She was skating for France with Gwendal Peizerat, and many fans of the duet wanted them to get married. But Marina always claimed that there was nothing going on between them. She said that she would not mix work and personal relations and that he was not her type.

But it seems that she met her fiancée at work after all. It was not in France, but in Russia while she was working on the project “Ice Dancing: The Velvet Season." Its organizers found for her an extravagant partner – actor Nikita Dzigurda.

When organizers of the show called him and asked if he could skate, he answered that he could skate like God. He said that he always answers that way whatever the subject – he could swim like God, ride horses like God, even if he never sat on the horse.

But he was intrigued to join the show when he was told that he would skate with a unique woman. The actor states that he fell in love with Marina at first sight, while she was more reserved and refused to get involved with him. He wrote her poems and sang songs to her. Everything came to a head on her birthday, August 30, when he presented her with an engagement ring. They decided not to tell anyone, but when he was asked if it was true, he confirmed the story and was accused of breaking the agreement not to tell.

In general, he is talking about the engagement a lot, while she is not. She is somewhat afraid of such openness. Although not long ago she overcame her natural shyness and released a book called “The Dotted I’s." She was very open in her book and she was not concerned about that. She told us that she wanted to make sure that everything was in the open and the past was left behind. She wanted to reveal all of her secrets as they would not be secrets any more.

The idea of writing a book came to her when she decided to go back to Russia. She was not really known in Russia and she decided to open up. She said that even though France gave her a lot, adopted her and allowed her to do the work that she loved, she did not feel herself French, she always felt herself Russian and wanted to go back to Russia.

If the news about the engagement is true, then her return is not far away. She did not describe her relations with Nikita in her book, but he claims that it was not her fault. Initially his chapter of the book was much bigger, it contained his poems and songs, but Marina’s agent cut all of that out and refused to explain why she did it. Marina confirmed that story, but did not seem to be upset with it.

Marina’s father, famous hockey player Viacheslav Anisin, suggested that she wanted to leave her past in the past and to start a new period in her life and he only wished her happiness. He also said that he did not have an opinion of her choice and that she was old enough to make a decision about whom to marry.

Only time will tell what will come out of this union of a composed figure skater and a free spirited musician.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007


November 1 - Memorial Day for Stanislav Zhuk

Translation of an article printed in Russian language publication “Stadion” on November 19, 2007.

On November 1, many relatives, friends, colleagues and former pupils of Stanislav Zhuk gathered together at his grave in Vagansky cemetery in Moscow.

The outstanding figure skating coach passed away in 1998 when he was 64 years old. At that time he was not actively involved in coaching and survived on his modest military pension.

In his youth, Stanislav skated in pair with Nina Bakusheva, who later became his wife. Together they were four time Champions of the (former) Soviet Union (1957, 58, 59 and 1961). They were the ones who performed for the first time a one hand lift support, which was considered to be illegal by many judges who thought that it was not safe.

In the sixties, Stanislav Zhuk started his career as a coach at the Central Sports Club of the Soviet Army and worked in all types of figure skating.

The list of his pupils include:

Tatiana Zhuk (his sister) and Alexander Gorelik;
Irina Rodnina and Alexey Ulanov/Alexander Zaitsev;
Marina Cherkasova and Alexey Shachray;
Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergey Grinkov;
Marina Pestova and Sergey Leonovich;
Veronika Pershina and Marat Akbarov;
Sergey Chetverukhin;
Elena Vodorezova;
Anna Kondrashova;
Alexander Fadeev.

In 20 years of his coaching, his pupils won 67 gold, 34 silver and 35 bronze medals at the Championships of Europe, World and at the Olympic Games. The history of figure skating does not have an analogue of such achievements.

Currently the team of the army club is coached by his student – Elena Vodorezova.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Tatiana Navka and Alex Zhulin: No, we are not getting a divorce and we are not going to have one.

Translation of the article by Alla Smirnova, a correspondent of a Russian Language newspaper Komsomolskaja Pravda, printed on November 24, 2007.

At the project “Ice Age,” passions are running high because of the gossip about the “divorces” of Navka – Zhulin and now Drobjazko – Vanagas.

After the sensational divorce of the head coach of the project, Ilja Averbuch, and the figure skater Irina Lobacheva who lived together for 16 years, the project "Ice Age" became a fertile ground for many incredible gossips.

The most important one was about the second coach of the show, Alex Zhulin, divorcing his wife. The gossip stated that Tatiana Navka started a romance with her former partner at the show “Stars on Ice,” Marat Basharov, who is the current announcer at the "Ice Age" show and that Zhulin, learning about that, filed for divorce.

When asked about the story, Tatiana Navka said, "Marat and I are like brother and sister. Only sick people could come up with such nonsense. I am happy together with Alex. Basharov has a strong family - his wife Lisa and daughter Amely are coming to each taping of the program. We consider it below our dignity to refute this nonsense and gossip about our divorce.”

Zhulin was in agreement with his beloved wife. “If someone thinks that it was true, let them come to our home and watch under our windows. I am kidding, of course, but it is the only way to see that we are living together, leaving home and coming back together.”

The gossip hit another couple, Margarita Drobjazko and Povilas Vanagas. Margarita, a figure skater who is skating in a strong pair with Alex Djachenko, an actor, is beside herself that she has to deny that she has a romance with her partner at the ice show.

She said, “It was just our fate that Alex Djachenko and I happened to work together at the project. I am very happy in my marriage with Povilas Vanagas for the last ten years. We love each other, we were married in the church and, for god’s sake, we are not such stupid people as to start an intrigue in front of everyone. It does not mean that we are going to start them behind the backs. Povilas is my only man and I insist that all these gossips stop!”

Alerx Djachenko, unwillingly immersed in this story, is not hiding his anger: “For the last three and a half years I have a girlfriend in St. Petersburg that I love very much and with whom I have a very serious relations. She is not a public person and because she is staying out of public eye, it is twice more unpleasant for her to read such slender. Also, Rita’s husband is participating in the project as well. Because of one dirty gossip, four people are suffering.”
Monday, November 26, 2007

Evgeny Plushchenko – I pay with my traumas for my successes

Translation of an interview by Vladimir Raush (VR), a correspondent of Russian Language publication Russkiy Reporter, printed on November 1, 2007.

Evgeny Plushchenko (EP), a famous figure skater, many times Champion of the World, Europe and Russia is coming back on the ice. After a year gap due to the trauma of the knee meniscus, followed by an operation, Evgeny is ready to take back the title of the king of figure skating. At the end of October, the new season is traditionally opened by the “Skate America” competition. Unfortunately the name of Pluschenko is not on the list of participants. The winner of the 2006 Olympics, the three time World’s Champion, who loudly announced during last summer that he was coming back on ice, keeps his own schedule. First, he will participate in shows in some Russian cities, and then he will perform in exhibition shows in US and Italy, but he is staying away from the main competitions.

VR – Evgeny, did you really come back on the ice?

EP – Yes and no. This season I will restore my physical shape, restore my jumps and create new programs. I may even show up in the National Championship but not as a competitor. I will start participation in the main events – like the World and European Championships beginning the next season.

VR – Why?

EP – Some medical problems appeared. The July operation on the bad knee was successful, but doctors did not want to cut out a large piece of the meniscus. Instead they gave me a shot in the cartilage that was supposed to ease the pain, but it did not work. Next summer I will have to have another operation – a complete removal of the meniscus.

VR – But why not now?

EP – This year I have to create new programs and to work on them even with pain. I want to preserve my good sports form and not to waste time. I will also start preparing my suits. I have an agreement with Roberto Kovally that he will make my outfits.

VR – Is it hard to accept that nothing went the way you wanted?

EP – It is important now not to lose hope. All of these traumas are payments for past successes. I came to figure skating at a very young age. From early on I started performing complex jumps – triples and quads. My performances as a professional skater also began too early. I am in the big sports for 20 years now. That is why I have all of the problems now.

VR – Will the next operation also be performed in Germany?

EP – Yes, and by the same doctor. I trust in his professionalism.

VR – What stages are your programs in now?

EP – Now I am looking for music. I have some ideas. It may be that my friend, Hungarian violinist and composer Edvin Marton, would compose some music for me. I want to hit the bull’s eye with my programs. By mid-October we should complete that stage. Than we will look for choreographers. It is possible that we would invite someone from Broadway or some of the big names in Russian ballet.

VR – Not long ago in Korea you became a victim of a fire. What happened?

EP – Alexey Yagudin and I were opening the exhibition performance in Korea. We just came out on the ice and heard shouts about a fire. We collected our things and went out. They put the fire out very fast, but the performance was canceled.

VR – Were you scared?

EP – No, but it was a pity. In the airport, thousands of fans met me with greetings, there were 30 thousand tickets sold for the 3 days of the show and it had to be canceled.

VR – Incidentally Alexey Yagudin announced at the same time as you did that he was also coming back on ice. How did you accept that statement?

EP – Yagudin can not come back to the big sport, because he already participated in the World Championships of the professionals. The rules of ISU do not allow the return in such cases. His people should have known that.

VR – At some time in the past you wanted to start a project of building medium class hotels in St. Petersburg. What came out of it?

EP – That project was cancelled. Although I feel that it was a good idea that would bring up the tourist business in St. Petersburg. Instead, I decided to create a sports center for the youth.

VR – Did you have to cancel the hotel project because it was started with your former father-in-law?

EP – You may say that.

VR – Incidentally, did you complete the process of divorce?

EP – The divorce process is going on and I hope that soon the papers will be signed. The main thing for me is that the differences with my former wife are resolved and I can see my son, and my parents could visit their grandson. We should stop bickering for the sake of our child. If we continue to accuse each other, no one wins.

VR – Lately you were haunted by some conflicts and scandals. Is it a problem with the people around you, or is it your fault as well?

EP – It depends. What conflicts are you referring to?

VR – For example your divorce or the long war with Yagudin. Not long ago you broke relations with other famous skaters – Totmjanina and Marinin, who left your show with a scandal.

EP – Totmjanina and Marinin are themselves at fault – they signed a contract with me and then ran away to join Ilja Averbuch’s show. That story is not over yet. I will demand the compensation for my loses. In relation to Yagudin – it was not a war, it was much more complicated. Our competition was advancing figure skating. Any time that he developed a new jump or a move, I had to do it better. Now there is no such heat in men’s skating any more.

VR – Do you have real friends in the world of figure skating?

EP – Not many. I am friends with Roman Kostomarov who skated with Tatiana Navka. I do not have friends in men’s single skating since everyone wanted to beat me and they took their emotions off the rink. I think that competitions should be only on ice. You can decimate your opponents on ice, but right after, you should chill up and relate to your opponents as colleagues. I would love to be friends with my opponents, but they do not know how to do it yet.

VR – When did you have your last fist fight?

EP – Very long ago – probably when I was still in high school. I was considered a weakling because I was figure skating. My classmates thought that it was women’s sport and I had to defend my honor with my fists.

VR – There was a rumor that you have a conflict with your coach of many years – Alexey Mishin.

EP – With Mishin, nonsense! They say it probably because he initially was not at my practice, but he was busy traveling and now he is back.

VR – You are so different and still you tolerate each other for so many years. How do you coexist?

EP – That is why we coexist because we are so different. We rarely quarrel as not to speak to each other. We almost never tire of each other. When I was competing we could talk 10-15 times a day and were not tired of each other.

VR – You are very different in your reaction to Alexey Yagudin. Mishin can not even stand his name.

EP – I think that he reacts to this name so strongly because Mishin nurtured and created Yagudin and then Yagudin dropped Mishin as a coach. I could not care less if you would call his name a hundred times in my presence.

VR – Last year you became a real TV star. How do you see your experience as a commentator of “Stars on Ice “and “The Master of the Mountain” shows?

EP – It was new and interesting work. To make everything perfect I had to be on camera all the time.

VR - What was the most difficult part of taping?

EP – The weather. We taped the "Master of the Mountain" in Austria and the weather was changing from sunny to rainy very often. The regiment was also very difficult; we were working from 9am to 3 am and had only 5 hours to sleep.

VR – Did the work on TV make you more famous?

EP – Yes, it did. Now people recognize me as a TV commentator. I was even somewhat upset. I won Olympics, won a lot of competitions and in two weeks of working on TV, I became more famous as a TV commentator.

VR – I heard that while taping the "Stars on Ice" you had a lot of problems with a producer. Did you have similar problems with the other show?

EP – There was another producer in the "Master of the Mountain" show and I had more freedom there. But most of the time I could deal with the producers, it were the people a level below- associate producers and assistants, that were difficult to work with. They all considered themselves the owners of the show and wanted to run it and give directions.

VR – Is it the reason why you stopped working on TV?

EP – I did not want to continue to work in "Stars on Ice" as a commentator, although I had good relations with the management of TV shows. Another project came along and I was about to start skating in it with Nastia Mikulchna, but at that time the problems with my leg became more severe and I had to drop out of that project.

VR - Your trauma did not prevent you from writing your autobiography.

EP – I had that idea for a long time. I wrote part of it myself and dictated part of it to my associates. The book is addressed to the younger generation – don’t be afraid of difficulties! I overcame a lot of difficulties in my life. I could hear some people saying that it was easy for me. It was not true, and that was why I decided to write the book.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Yagudin started singing and taped an erotic video.

Translation of an interview by Vera Petrova (VP) a correspondent of Russian language newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda printed on November 19, 2007

The stars of the ice show on the first channel of Russian TV, Victoria Daineko and Alex Yagudin (AY), got tired of defending themselves against guesses if there was love between them or not. They decided to bring to life the backstage legend of their love in a video taped to the music of the song, "Needle,” by Igor Matvienko. The tape was made in the underground garage of one of the apartment building complexes at the South-Western part of Moscow. Incidentally, Yagudin, for the first time, was singing in this clip.

The tape included a dance on ice and even a bed scene. For the “lovers” they prepared a nice black bed with white sheets and black pillows.

The director of the video developed an intriguing net made up of halftones and innuendos about passionate relations of the lovers. Victoria, dressed in a silk robe and seductive stockings, immediately got into the role of passionate diva, while Yagudin became a passionate macho man. During a break in taping, a half-dressed Victoria went to the dressing wagon parked near the garage to get warm. She was met there by her girlfriend and Tosik, her Yorkshire terrier. Yagudin did not hide in the wagon and talked to this reporter.

VP – After taping such a clip, how could you still deny that Victoria is your girlfriend?

AY – Victoria is very beautiful, but nevertheless I like her more for her human qualities. This bright person charges me with energy. But what is between us is a secret for now.

VP - Will you celebrate New Year’s Eve with the girl that you love?

AY – I will be in St. Petersburg with my mother and maybe with my girlfriend. I do not know for sure what will happen tomorrow and you are asking about New Year’s Eve. I did not even start looking for presents yet.

VP – Will you leave sports and start singing now?

AY – No, it was just an interesting experience. I do not have any musical education.

VP – Did you have to rehearse before taping the video?

AY – We are singing this song very well now. Yesterday we gave a concert in the Palace of Sports Luzniky, tomorrow we will tape the New Year’s Show “Goluboy Ogonek” (Blue Flame).
Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Irina Slutskaya has a son

Translation of article by Elena Sheremetova, a correspondent of the Russian Language newspaper Komsomolskaja Pravda, printed on November 16, 2007.

The long awaited first-born of the famous figure skater and now a commentator of the show “Ice Age” Irina Slutskaya and her husband Segey Micheev was delivered by a Caesarian section yesterday at 10 am. The newborn was small – 47 cm and 2.3 kilograms (18.5 inches and 5.1 pounds).

Last Wednesday, Irina was admitted to the hospital and was placed in a comfortable room, checked out and in the morning the planned operation was performed.

Her husband was near her at all times, he encouraged and supported her. He was the first one to hold their son. The medical staff said that she was courageous and was doing very well. Of course she was worried before the operation, but later she was glowing with happiness.

Irina is a commentator of the popular show, "Ice Age," with her partner Marat Basharov.

When the producers of Channel 1 of Russian TV were asked what will happen with her work at the show now that's she's had a child, it was said that the show will wait for her. The operation was planned, went well and in a week she is expected to get out of the hospital. Ilja Averbuch is willing to give her as much time as she would need to recover from the operation and to get used to her role of a young mother.

For two or three performances they would find a replacement for her (it was not known at the time of this writing who that would be) and after that Irina will decide what she wants to do. Knowing her strong and fighting character, the people at the show are almost sure that she would come back for taping as soon as she can.
Monday, November 19, 2007


Ice Divorce.
Zhulin and Navka denying news about their divorce.

Translation of an article by Irina Bobrova printed on November 16 in the Russian language newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets.

It seems that the popular ice show with the stars became not just a spectacle, but a place of heightened interest of the public. There was not this much talk about the famous figure skaters at the time of their Olympic triumphs.

It has been announced that Nikita Dzigurda is marrying Marina Anisina; Anna Semeniovich dates Alexey Makarov; Alexey Yagudin proposed to Victoria Daineko; even Anton Sikhuralidze was trying to break up the family of Anastasia Volchkova. The latest news announced by one of the capital newspapers was that the beautiful Tatiana Navka was divorcing Alex Zhulin and was leaving him for Marat Basharov.

When asked if it was true, Tatiana Navka said that it seemed that the gossipers finally got to them. She said that earlier, when she read such materials about their colleagues, she thought that she would not judge the journalists since they had to make a living. Now she understands that it did not bother her because it did not concern her family.

Her husband, Alex Zhulin, told this reporter that he learned about his divorce last Wednesday, when his father called him and asked him if it was true that he was divorcing Tatiana. Alex felt really bad. At that time he was in the sauna with his wife. His mother took the news very badly and had problems with her heart.

"The people who are writing these things are not good people, they should be jailed," said Alex. He also added that they were all upset, that their phone was ringing off the hook with all of the friends calling and asking what was going on. He had to deny the story hundreds of times, stating that it was not true and that they lived together and slept in one bed.

The wife of Marat Basharov reacted to the news philosophically – she said that Marat and she were not paying any attention to this kind of news for a long time. In this situation it was a pity for the parents and grandparents who were not used to this kind of journalism. She added that they were good friends with the family of Zhulin and Navka and that they were considering filing a law suit against the publication that announced their divorce.

When asked if it was a PR move, she replied that they did not need any PR, but some stars want to gain attention exactly this way.

That is the price of popularity. It is not likely that the gossips of stars divorces would calm down soon. Probably it will be different names next time.
Thursday, November 15, 2007


Navka and Zhulin are getting divorced.
Sensational details of the break up of a family of two famous figure skaters.

Translation of an article by Anjelika Pachomova printed in a Russian language newspaper “Zhizn” on November 15, 2007

A famous family has broken up. It seems that the reason for it was the romance of Tatiana Navka with a popular actor.

Navka and Zhulin met 14 years ago when he was still married, and it took him seven years to leave his then partner and wife Maja Usova. In 2000, Alex and Tatiana got married. It seemed that everything was fine, but then unexpectedly their family was broken.

It is interesting to point out that history in this case repeated itself. A while ago, Tatiana was able to get Zhulin for herself by breaking up his marriage of ten years to Usova. However, Tatiana was not the first woman to test his family ties with Usova. Before meeting Tatiana, he was trying to leave Usova for another woman, also a figure skater. Navka knew about that situation and was feeling bad for Usova then. Navka said that she was sure it was not possible to build one’s happiness on another person’s suffering. Seeing how Maja was suffering because of the romance of Zhulin with another woman, Navka said that she hoped that she would not make this family suffer any more. But Alex and Tatiana could not resist their feelings for long: in 1993 their romance stared.

At that time Zhulin was actively performing in ice shows with Usova in the US. Navka was looking for a partner and she started training with Roman Kostomarov. But she did not have a personal life. Zhulin was telling her to wait for him, and when in 2000 she told Zhulin that she was expecting his child, he made a decision to stay with her.

Maja Usova could not forgive Alex and stopped skating with him. He had to skate at that time with a partner, who wanted to break him away from Usova in the past. Tatiana was concerned about that arrangement, but she decided that she would not be jealous.

Zhulin always trusted Tatiana and the gossip that she started a romance with actor Marat Basharov hit him hard. He was hoping that it would pass, but the people around him kept bringing up the subject. It was going on for a few months and than he decided to leave Tatiana.

People around Zhulin mention that he is a very strong person and would have left his family earlier if it was not for their daughter, but even she could not hold him in the family any longer. When asked if the news about the split was true, Tatiana did not deny it, but did not make any comments.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007


New Divorce in Figure Skating: Tatiana Navka and Alex Zhulin are splitting up.

Translation of an article printed in the Russian Language publication “Top News” on November 14, 2007

One of the most well known pairs in figure skating decided to split up. The reason for the divorce was a romance that happened between Navka and her partner in the show “Stars on Ice,” Marat Basharov.

Following the divorce of Averbuch and Lobacheva, the other famous couple of figure skating decided to call it quits.

Navka and Zhulin met 14 years ago. In 1993, they started a heated romance. At that time, Alex was married to another figure skater, Maja Usova. In 2000, Tatiana told Alex that she was pregnant with his child. From that time on they decided to stay together. The same year Alex divorced Usova and married Navka. A few months after the wedding, their daughter Alexandra was born.

Maja Usova could not forgive her partner and refused to skate with him. He had to find a new partner.

It has been said that after the completion of the show “Stars on Ice,” Navka had a romance with her partner at that show – Marat Basharov. This news was a shock to her husband. The relationship between Navka and Basharov continued for several months and finally, being tired of the gossip, Alex decided to leave Navka. He thought of doing it sooner, but wanted to try to save the marriage for the sake of their daughter.

As of this time, they are not divorced yet, but separated. When asked to comment on the situation, Tatiana said that she was not ready to talk about it.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Translation of an interview with Irina Slutskaja (IS) by a correspondent of the Russian language newspaper ”ExtraM,” Ramazan Ramazanov (RR) printed on November 9, 2007

Born on February 9, 1979 in Moscow. Started skating at 4. From 6 years old to present time worked with the same coach – Janna Gromova. In 1996, she became the Ladies European Champion - the first Russian woman skater to reach that level, and then repeated this achievement four times in a row. In total, she was the seven times European Champion. In 1998, she became a silver medalist at the World Championship. In 2001, she graduated from the Russian Academy of Physical Culture and then became Olympic Silver Medalist. She lives in Moscow with her husband, Sergey Micheev, with their akita-inu dog Bars and a lizard, Guan. She collects soft stuffed animals that her admirers throw on the ice during her performances.

RR – Irina, you are always full of sunshine and cheer. But you are saying about yourself that you are very stubborn. Could you really be like that?

IS – Certainly. I can cry when I am upset, but also I can be coarse.

RR – Is it easy to upset you?

IS – Not at all. Only people who are close to me could do that. Coarseness or rudeness on the part of outsiders does not affect me. I ignore them and move on. Sport taught me not to waste my attention on nonsense.

RR – Are you being chased by the tabloids?

IS – They always try to present me as a scandalous person, but I am completely none of that kind. I have a family; my husband is my treasure, the father of the child that I carry. I know a lot of people, and half of them are men with whom I can be seen in restaurants or on the streets. It does not mean that all of them are my lovers.

RR- What about stardom? Have you been bitten by that bug?

IS – The people around me bring me down to earth very quickly. But sometimes people on the street act as if they are my close friends and become overly familiar. When I put those in their place, I can hear people saying that I act like a naughty star.

RR – You told us that your living conditions were not up to par. Are you not annoyed that you, the world champion, have only a drafty 3 room apartment?

IS – I can not afford a posh apartment and I do not want it. After the Olympics, the president of Russia presented us with apartments and cars and it was enough for me. One had to appreciate what one has and this way it will seem priceless.

RR- Once you happened to be near Putin. What did you feel being next to the president of Russia?

IS – I was sitting next to Putin at the reception for the participants of the Olympic Games. The president was like any other person, very attentive and tactful.

RR – If it is not a secret, what did you talk about?

IS – Mostly about sports. Next time when we met at a restaurant, he remembered me.

RR - You are a successful sportsperson, and an attractive woman. You probably get a lot of attention from men who want to meet you. Are you aware of that?

IS – I can not say that I lack men’s attention. I just always have been so preoccupied with my profession, that I did not see anyone. Also, I am a straight girl. I was always interested in the inner content of the person rather then the content of his wallet. I was never a wealthy sportswoman. I am different. I do not like to shop at boutiques; I do not proudly demonstrate my new handbags or shoes. I live one day at a time. One of my friends called me and asked if I purchased the stuff for my upcoming baby. I told her that I just did not have time to go to the market. She was very surprised that I was going to buy the baby stuff at a regular market. I think that she would like to go there herself, but she is afraid that her status would suffer if she would be seen at the market. It is just funny. I will not love my baby less if he will not wear designer label clothes.

RR – Due to your pregnancy you may have more spare time.

IS – You would not believe it, but I am so busy and do not have time for everything that I want to do. I thought that when I will get pregnant I will learn to play the piano. But I do not have time for it, I am always running somewhere. But to be honest, I am glad to have a job.

RR – Are you afraid of not having what to do?

IS – Without a job I am getting restless. I have to be busy, I can not stay in one place for long and I like to be always in motion. When I became unexpectedly pregnant I accepted it with great happiness. But then I started considering my next moves. On the one hand, I had a lot of contracts and I did not want to fall out of my working schedule for a long time. On the other hand, I wanted to make sure that noting would harm the new life inside me. But nevertheless I made my choice.

RR- Does you husband participate in supporting your vitality now?

IS – There are professionals – doctors, psychologists to do that. My husband handles different problems and tasks.

RR – Pregnant women are usually capricious. Does Sergey fulfill all of your desires and whims?

IS – In reality I became more calm and peaceful. And if I would ask Sergey to bring me something to eat or to drink, I do not consider it a whim. I can come to the kitchen myself, but I like it when Sergey takes care of me. He likes helping me around the house as well and he is doing the shopping.

RR – What kind of wife are you? Do you know how to cook?

IS – My husband is always well fed, his shirts are ironed. I would not allow him to go out untidy.

RR – Does Sergey boast that he is the husband of Irina Slutskaya?

IS – He does not boast. He is proud to be my husband. He is a wise and modest person.

RR- You tried yourself on the stage. Also, you studied to be a journalist. Does it help you in your work now?

IS - I did have a small part in the movies. I did not complete the studies at the school of television. I went back on the ice but some experience, especially the speaking classes, were very helpful in my current work at the "Ice Age" show. But in reality I am not speaking for myself – everything that I say is spoken to me in the earpiece.

RR – You promised to have a lot of children. But what about sport?

IS – The number of children that a woman will have is known only to God. Let me have this one and than we will see.

RR – It is probably hard after your triumphs to stop and to forget the ice arena?

IS – Nothing is eternal. Everything has a beginning and an end. And besides, I can come back at any time. The question is – what for? As a matter of fact, I achieved everything. I won the 2002 Olympics and it will stay with me for life. And if I was not given the first place it was a matter of business and commerce, but not of sport. New segments of my life started. I opened in myself new talents, I have places where to go forward and honestly I do not want to go back. Figure skating is my main profession and I will not leave it ever. I want and I will skate again.

RR – Your life motto is “Never fall down," but on the slippery ice it is so easy to fall.

IS – I meant never to fall down in the eyes of other people and always to keep my personal integrity. Falls on ice are such a trivial thing in comparison with moral falls. I am not playing a game. I am what I am, and I am not going to change.
Monday, November 12, 2007


Ilja Averbuch – divorce is not a reason for a show

Translation of an interview by Irina Stepantseva (IS), a correspondent of Russian Language newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets printed on November 8, 2007

Now each member of a star duet will write their history separately. Behind them there are many victories on ice and 15 years of living together. Their son will be 4 soon. They have the love of their fans. All of that will continue, but not the family of Averbuch and Lobacheva. They divorced ten days ago.

Ilja Averbuch (IA): “The divorce happened, I can not deny that. But I do not want to make any comments. It is my private business, it is my family. I would like to keep it private and not bring it out in the public. There will be a lot of gossip and some would even want to turn it in to an entertaining show. I understand that we cannot hide, that people will talk and make up stories of what happened, but I will not be the one to share the details of our divorce. If Irina decides differently, it is her right, but I decided this way.

IS – Is there a possibility to remain if not friendly, but in some kind of relations with Irina?

IA – Yes, I hope that we will have normal civilized relations. We continue to work together. I hope that the divorce will not hit our son hard. I always had and still have a lot of respect for Irina. Of course a lot of things changed, but I do not want our life to become more complicated.

IS – When did you actually divorce?

IA – Ten days ago.

IS – Who initiated the divorce?

IA - Irina and I know about it, and I think that no others need to know. What difference does it make? The divorce is accepted by both of us.

IS – When you were telling in the past to the reporters the history of the beautiful love of Averbuch and Lobacheva, you always stated that you did not regret anything, and you could only be happy. It seems that the time for regrets was not for the past, but rather for the future to come now. What are the regrets about?

IA – Life goes on. It is full of events, it is very complicated, it has a lot of streams and everything is constantly changing. Of course I regret it very much that we failed with Irina – we both tried honestly and for a long time to save our family, although it was mostly for our son. Every child needs a family. For Martin the situation is very complex. But we, together, will try to make the situation as easy on him as possible. The rest is just life.

IS – When people work together and than each one starts working separately, is it possible to save the family? Or is it a natural process that there could be no more common interests?

IA – The are no recipes. Every person has a different story and a separate entanglement of life's problems. Work brings in some other problems and some people can handle them and some not. We were together with Irina for a long time – we were dating since we were 17 and lived together since we were 19. No matter how one would count – we are together for 15 years, and that could not be forgotten or erased, and the main thing is that we do not want to do that. We respect each other. Life goes on. And now each of us will have a different story.
Thursday, November 08, 2007


Tatiana Totmjanina and Maxim Marinin upset the president.
Olympic Champions are leaving sports

Article by Sergey Dadigin, a correspondent of a Russian Language Newspaper “Express gazeta” printed on October 29, 2007.

Fans of figure skating were expecting the beginning of the skating season with great anticipation. The greatest stars were expected to come back – Evgeny Pluschenko, Alexey Yagudin and pair of Olympic Champions, Totmjanina and Marinin. But it was not meant to be. There is the first loss.

It became known that Totmjanina and Marinin already notified the president of the Russian Federation of Figure Skating, Mr. Valentin Piseev, of their decision. Marinin explained it by the fact that in September his son was born and he wants to spend more time with his family. But the main reason was explained by his partner:

“We expected it very much that the Federation would provide us with financial support,” said Tatiana. “Maxim has to support his family. I am not married, but I have parents who need my help. To go back to amateur sports meant for us to stop participating in all of the ice shows that we are performing in now. These shows are our main source of income. But we did not get any understanding from the Federation, no money, no sponsors.”

This decision of Totmjanina and Marinin means one thing – this season Russia would not claim any gold medals in pair skating. Other duets can not compete at that level yet.

Valentin Piseev commented on the situation as follows: “We had an interesting conversation with Tatiana and Maxim. Initially they asked for a specific amount of money for their return. Later, after consulting with their coach they named another sum. When I asked if it was for both of them, I was told that it was for each of them, but we could not afford the requested amounts. Incidentally, I am not sure that even if they would get the money they would come back. If sportspeople really want to come back, it is seen in their words and deeds. Maxim states that he achieved everything in sports and he has a family now. Family is great, but why are they asking me for what I can not deliver?”

Maxim's family consists of his girlfriend, ballet dancer Natalia Somova, and their new son. They live together in Moscow. Their son, Artemij, was born in the city of Krasnodar where her parents live. In a few days, Maxim will take Natalia and his son back to Moscow.

Now the leaders in Russian pair skating will probably become the pair of Muchortova – Tranjkov, who are also coached by Oleg Vasiliev.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007


The famous skater came out on ice for the first time after an operation.

Translation of an article by Nikita Lisovoy printed in a Russian Language newspaper Komsomolskaja Pravda on October 26, 2007.

A few days ago, Evgeny Pluschenko visited Turin – the Olympic capital of 2006. Here he received the Golden Skate Award, which is presented to sportspeople who contributed a great deal to the development of figure skating. And there he, for the first time, came out on the ice in front of spectators.

Pluschenko stated that he performs almost every year in Turin and he was always met by ovations. This time the spectators even stomped their feet, which is a rare occasion. The atmosphere was just great, and the award was very nice.

Evgeny skated two programs in Turin – the first one was called “In Memory of Karuso” and was dedicated to the recently deceased Luchano Pavarotti. The second one will most probably become his short program for the upcoming official competitions.

After the official ceremony many skaters came up to Evgeny and asked him directly why he wanted to come back on the ice.

According to his agent, Ari Zakharjan, they said that he had won already everything and now they should have a chance to win.

Three months ago, Pluschenko had an operation on his knee in Germany. Rehabilitation was prolonged and not smooth. But now everything is behind him. He is in good health and could come out on the ice in Turin.

These days, Evgeny lives in St. Petersburg. He is practicing with his coach, Alexey Mishin, and participates in sessions of the Legislative Counsel.

In Turin, Evgeny met the famous Italian mountain skier, Olympic Champion Alberto Tomba. The Italian promised to come over to Russia soon. He wants to check out Sochi and to ski there with Pluschenko. Mr. Tomba was an official representative of the Korean city of Phenchan, which together with Sochi was competing for the 2014 Olympics. And now he wants to see the city that will host the Olympics.
Monday, November 05, 2007


Two time Olympic champion Ekaterina Gordeeva: “We did not want to advertise in the media our romance with Ilja Kulik."

Translation of an interview with Ekaterina Gordeeva (EG) by Jaroslav Korbatiov (JK) a correspondent of a Russian Language newspaper “Komsomolskaja Pravda” printed on November 1, 2007.

The world of figure skating probably does not know of a more exiting and piercing story like the story of sport triumph and personal drama of Ekaterina Gordeeva. Together with her partner and husband Sergey Grinkov, Ekaterina (Katja) won gold medals at two Olympic Games. They were probably the most beautiful pair in the world of sports. At her first Olympic Games in Calgary, Katja received the title of Miss Olympics. Four years later in the USA, Katja and Sergey had a daughter Dasha. In 1994, they came back to amateur sports to become number one at the Lillehammer Games.

The beautiful fairy tale ended on November 20, 1995 at Lake Placid. In practice, Sergey suddenly dropped to the ice. His heart gave out. There was no much information in the Russian press about how the young mother of 24 coped with her loss. Katja stayed in the US and the Russian public did not see her on the ice for about 10 years. The information from overseas was that a few years later, she had a romance with the winner of the Olympic gold at Nagano- 98, Ilja Kulik, and that in 2001 they had a daughter – Lisa.

This October, Katja came to Moscow to receive an award for figure skating – “Crystal Ice” in the category “Legend”.

JK – Katja, how does it feel to be a “legend” at such a blossoming age?

EG – The title “Legend” is a little too much, but it is a nice feeling that they remember me after so many years. It seems that at this time in Russia, the people are trying to bring back what they lost. In the past, a whole generation of figure skaters left Russia. Valova and Vasiliev, Selezneva and Makarov, Sergey and myself ended up in the US because there was no work for us here. There was not a single ice show in Russia. The whole country was in crisis. Now figure skating is gaining back its former popularity and the heroes of the yesteryears still have something to show.

JK – Is the “Legend” award given to you for the 2 Olympic medals or for the history of your love with Sergey?

EG – Of course Sergey’s death gave us a tragic aura. It became, as they say in the US, a story. Maybe from the outside it looked as a hot story, but it is hard for me to look at my life with the eyes of an outsider. What happened to me was terrible and it was very difficult for me to turn that page. Bur Sergey is always in my heart. It will not go away.

JK – Do you watch your old performances?

EG – Very rarely. Last time it was last year. We were coaching a pair and I needed to see how exactly we performed an element with Sergey. I do not recall the past every day. It is already 11 years since, but the first 3-5 years were very difficult to be alone.

JK – Ilja Kulik said that you were hiding your romance. Were you concerned that your admirers would be jealous of the memory of Sergey.

EG – We tried to hide only from the press. They pursued us with the proposal to create a new story. For the public it was a story, but for me it was my life. And when Ilja suggested not to advertise our relationship in the press, I supported him. All the friends who were with me when Sergey was gone, accepted our union with Ilja with a complete understanding.

JK – How did Dasha accept Ilja as the head of the family?

EG – She was six when we met with Ilja at the show Stars on Ice. At first they were just friends. Dasha did not consider him a father, but eventually they became close. He put her on skates and trained her to do the jumps and other elements. He coached her till she was 10 years old and then she went to another coach since it was hard for a father or mother to be a demanding coach.

JK – Does Dasha remember Sergey as a father?

EG – When Sergey died she was only 3. She remembers him from the stories and pictures.

JK – Do you perform together with Ilja?

EG – Once we performed together. But than we understood that we do not have time to skate together. While one is skating in the show the other one stays with the kids.

JK – Thanks to the TV ice shows the spectators saw the stars of yesteryears. Did they invite you to the shows?

EG – Yes they did, but this year we could not participate in the long shows. Our youngest daughter went to school. Now the family is number one for me. I would go to Russia for one or two short shows.

JK – After your exciting life in sports is the quiet life of a housewife boring?

EG – I do not consider myself a housewife. I do a lot of shows. I like to perform, to be in good shape. Also, the shows are our main source of income. I only stopped performing for 2 years after Lisa was born. When she grew up, I went back to "Stars on Ice." But I do not leave the kids for more than 2 weeks.

JK – Do you daughters grow up Americans?

EG – At home we speak only Russian. My daughters speak without any accent. We regularly come for vacations to Moscow. They know their grandparents and find their way in Moscow very well. Who would they be when they grow up? I learned not to look too far ahead.
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