Romance and Mystery Novels

by Alina Adams

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Monday, March 17, 2008


Saying goodbye to the “Face of the Socialism”

The last performance of figure skater Katarina Witt took place in Germany.

Translation of an article by Miron Goychman printed in Russian Language publication “Gazeta” on March 7, 2008.

On Tuesday, March 4th, the famous German figure skater came out on the ice for the last time. Her performance in Hanover was the last part of her farewell tour where the famous 42 year old figure skater was saying goodbye to her fans. It goes without saying that in Germany, which adores her, the tour created a lot of interest and in Hanover, more that 10 thousand fans came to her performance.

The tour started in her birthplace – the small city of Hemnitz, where 37 years ago, while it was still a part of Karl Marxshtadt, Katarina for the first time came out on the ice under the instructions of famous coach Ms. Uta Muller.

At 16, Witt became the German national champion, and 2 years later - the European and World Champion. Two times in 1984 and 1988 she became an Olympic Champion. In the DDR she was called the most beautiful face of Socialism. In difference from other East German sportspeople, she was able to become the symbol and beloved person of the new unified Germany. And not only of Germany, but of the whole world!

When she became a professional figure skater, she conquered America and became the first German athlete who received the prestigious Jim Thorpe Pro Sports Award. She made a quick transition from sports star to successful show business woman. Pictures of naked Katarina in Playboy magazine caused record sales of this magazine and books of her biography became bestsellers. Whatever endeavor she would start – from jewelry collections to movies and ice reviews, she would always create a lot of interest and commercial success. The list of shows in which she participated took a few pages in the last tour’s play bill.

The farewell show became a holiday for her fans, especially considering that her friends such as Brian Boitano, Ekaterina Gordeeva, Steven Cousins and many other famous skaters took part in her show. It is a pity that many other fans of Katarina could not see the show in other countries. It was especially of interest because it had some historic tapes of very young Katarina and her best performances in the Calgary, Sarajevo and Lillehammer Olympics. But that was on the screen. On ice, spectators could see again her unforgettable Carmen – the program that for many years had become the calling card of the skater. The dance that she performed in Lillehammer 14 years ago still brought joy to the spectators. (Ed. note: Katarina skated to Carmen in Calgary, in the Battle of the Carmens with Debi Thomas. In Lillehamer she performed her Long Program to Where Have All the Flowers Gone?)

There were of course farewell speeches, which Katarina never really learned to deliver. She said that she thought for a long time of what to say and prepared a speech, but she completely forgot all of the words and she just wanted to say – Thank You Very Much.

These were the last words of Katarina at the completion of the show.


  • At December 12, 2009 10:06 AM, Blogger Everett said…

    Katarina is full of grace and beauty. I'm sorry I never got to see her performances on ice. Katarina is one of the most beautiful European women I've ever seen - the personification of German beauty.


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