Romance and Mystery Novels

by Alina Adams

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Translation of an article printed in the Russian Language publication “” on March 15, 2008.

The publishing house “Astrel” has published a book – “Beauty and the Beast," which consists of autobiographical stories of coach and consultant to the Russian Figure Skating Federation, Tatiana Tarasova. In the book, Ms. Tarasova frankly talks about her unique family and her outstanding pupils.


About Grishchuk and Platov.

One day my phone rang. Evgeny Platov is calling from America, which was a complete surprise for me. He said a traditional phrase: “Tatiana Anatolievna, we are lost. We are in the same group as Ovsannikov and Krilova. Lininchuk is giving them all of her attention and does not see us." I did not like to hear this and asked him why he called me. He said – “We do not have a choice. Our coach tells us that we should quit, but we still want to compete. We have a good original program, but it is incomplete and has some flaws. We missed a lot of competitions and people lost faith in us. We would like to participate in the Olympics. Please take us."

They were told that it was time for them to become professionals. But they did not want to become professionals, they wanted to compete two more years in the World Championships and they wanted to win a second Olympic Games. There were no dancers until then that had won a second Olympics, even the legendary Pachomova. Twenty minutes later, Grishcuk called and asked me to take them. She told me that she would listen to me, even though she had a bad temper, but she would try. She begged for me to take them so they would be able to continue in sports, since Lininchuk favored another couple.

A terrible Olympic year began. Grischuk was constantly yelling and screaming. The whole rink was under tremendous tension every day. I can not even explain now how we prepared the program. It was a miracle that I can not understand. A half an hour before her entrance on to the ice, I would take a relaxant pill as I would be able to work with her without trying to tear off her ears or pull her teeth one at a time. Throughout all of her hooliganism and rudeness, she always brought me flowers and left me notes where she told me that she loved me and called me mother.

She developed a terrible psychosis. She tried out in Hollywood and was told that she needed to change her name. At that time, Oxana wanted to be called Pasha. Evgeny could not understand why she wanted that, but I agreed to go along with the game. The new name came out of the English word “passion," In real life, she was crying, hitting Evgeny, insulting him, was knocking him in his weak knees with her skate and diminishing his dignity. I did not want to go with them to the Olympics.

When she was begging me to take them in, she told me that they would pay me as it was customary. Feeling bad for them and out of the goodness of my heart, I did not sign any contract with them, which was a terrible mistake and I hate myself for that weakness. I should have signed the contract with her then, when she was standing in front of me on her knees and begging to take them in. At that time, normal coaches would put on the table a contract where she would agree to pay for each day of my work with them and would pay me the balance at the completion of the work. Practice takes away my life. I am only paid for my work and I have no other income. I still keep the check which shows that for all of the Olympic season I received from Oxana/Pasha Grishchuk just a few thousand dollars- for the whole season! For this money I should have just brought her music to the rink.

Finally we got to the Olympics. They were perfect at the practice, no one had any questions. All of a sudden in the first compulsory dance, she began to be nervous. She fails the turn, the one that she could do with her eyes closed. She was actually very good at turns. And that was in the very first compulsory dance! But Grishchuk and Platov stayed in first place since their competitors, Krilova and Ovsannikov, also made a mistake in the turn.

Before going out on ice, Evgeny kept saying his mantra – I am ready, I am ready, I am ready. I was concerned that he overexcited himself before the start and began praying. I was standing at the edge and saw that he almost stopped breathing, so nervous he was. I thought that I had to take him out of that condition. I had a bottle of mineral water in my hand and I poured water on him 15 minutes before the start. He looked at me in horror and said: “I pressed the shirt all day!" Oxana burst in tears. I told her that he was ready and sent them out on the ice. And from the first bars of music, I knew that they would win. I never cried so much after the performance of my students than I cried then. I was crying because they could do it and I could!

About Yagudin.

I have to admit that Yagudin was thrown out of a tour twice. The first time, the whole company was dining in a restaurant in New York. It was a tradition – after the show they went to a restaurant. I told him not to go. But he went. In the restaurant, at a nearby table, there was sitting a pretty woman, African-American as they are called now. The “n” word that we were taught in our schools from “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” is considered an insult in America. Passing by her table in a very good mood, he said “How are you doing, “n”?” and even slapped her on the back. Furthermore, going back he said the same thing again and was surprised why she did not reply. This woman happened to be an anchor of some television network. She called Tom Collins and told him that he has a racist in his show. Alexey could not get to her to apologize. He had to do it to continue with the tour, since Tom did not want any problems on the tour. Everyone knew that Yagudin was a good-natured man and was not a racist. But the language of a nineteen years old boy, an absence of tact and the feeling of danger, played a bad joke with him. Finally he was able to get through to that anchorwoman and explain to her what was the problem. She accepted his explanation and called Collins that she was satisfied with his explanation. But of course, Tom could not forgive such stupidity of anyone.

Any one of our boys, a sportsmen or not, can have a drink. I do not know of a single skater who would not have a drink at the end of the season. Alexey is not better or worse than the others, but simpler. Being an initiator, if anyone would get caught, he would be the one. There is one other deficiency in him – he says what he thinks. Initially, in the first days of the tour, his passport was stolen. He had to go back to Moscow to get a new passport and visa. He missed a couple of performances, but finally he got a new passport. I am sitting in Hanover, drinking tea in the morning and watching the TV. Suddenly, I see Alexey skating at the World Championship. I was happy to see him, but the announcer told us that he was dropped from the tour for drinking.

For a long time, I was investigating this incident. I respect Tom Collins, but my pupils are embellishing his tours very much. Alexey was sent home based on the law that in America people before 21 years of age should not drink alcohol. It may be right because by 21 a person knows better how much and where he can drink. Alexey came in the bar where some of his friends who were 21 were drinking. He took a sip from someone’s glass and the barmen caught it and called the police. Tom did not want to cover up the incident with the police and sent Alexey home. It seemed that Tom sent him back only for a few shows, but when Alexey came home he was told that he was banned from the tour for good. Like a child, Alexey stayed upset for a long time, thinking that he was deceived by Tom who told him that he was going back just for a few shows.


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