Romance and Mystery Novels

by Alina Adams

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Ekaterina Gordeeva: “My daughter Dasha dropped out from figure skating.”

Translation of an interview by Sergey Latinin (SL) a correspondent of the Russian language publication “Express Gazeta” with Ekaterina (Katia) Gordeeva (EG), printed on November 10, 2008.

She has lived in the USA for a long time. But the love of our spectators for this outstanding athlete did not die down throughout the years. The news that she was coming to Moscow to participate in the show “Ice Period” spread among her admirers like wild fire.

SL – Katia, did you think long before agreeing to participate in this project?

EG – Ilja Averbuch invited me and my husband Ilja Kulik to participate in the show two years ago. But due to family issues we declined the invitation at that time. Now it was different, although Ilja could not come over, he has a lot of work in the US. He is bound by a contract with the American show:”Stars on Ice.”

SL – But I have seen him not long ago in Moscow at the Central Army Sports Club.

EG – He came over to visit with me and our daughter Leeza, who is practicing figure skating at that club. The “Ice Period” show goes on for about 10 moths, so at our family council, we decided that Leeza and I would go to Russia, while the older daughter Dasha, who is now 16 years old, would stay in the US with her grandmother.

SL – If I am not mistaken your older daughter also wanted to be a figure skater?

EG – It looks like I wanted it more than she did. She started skating, then Ilja started coaching her and when she was 10 we had her to start practicing with a professions trainer, but when she got older she dropped out of figure skating.

SL – What about Leeza, will she continue skating?

EG – So far she likes it, but I do not know what will happen in the future. She has a talent for skating.

SL – Does she speak Russian with an accent?

EG – No, she does not have any accent. Even though we live in the US, at home we speak only Russian. Unfortunately she knows English better than Russian. Recently we gave her a cell phone and she texts all of her friends in English and only me in Russian.

SL – What did you know about the actor Egor Beroev, with whom you are skating at the show, before starting working with him?

EG – I met him a month before the start of the show. I also saw some of his movies. In life he is somewhat different than on the screen.

SL – Your partner probably travels a lot for the shootings of his movies. Do you have time to practice with him?

EG – In October, Egor was traveling a lot, but lately he is around more and we do not have to practice at night any more.

SL – Aren’t you scared when he lifts you in his starched hands? He is not a professional and could drop you on the ice.

EG – No, we are practicing all of the elements first on the floor and than try to reproduce them on the ice. I could not trust him at the very beginning. Figure skating is a sport where it is hard to guess what may happen. Many years ago my first partner and husband Sergey Grinkov dropped me from a lift. He had performed that lift hundreds of times and everything was fine. But that time his leg tripped, he was not able to support me and I dropped on the ice and hit my head hard. I was sent to a hospital. Sergey was beside himself, he sent me flowers. I forgave him sooner that he forgave himself.

SL – Have you heard about the tragedy with 19 year old Russian hockey player Alexey Cherepanov? His heart stopped during a game. Sergey Grinkov died the same way, but during practice.

EG – He was 28. I do not want to blame anyone. It was probably fate. After he died I was left with a three years old daughter.

SL – Does Dasha remember her father?

EG – Only from my stories and the pictures. She also read my book “My Sergey.”

SL – Ilja Kulik was saying that you were hiding your relationship for a long time. Why?

EG – Ilja did not want us to be the subject of gossip by the press. I felt the same way. Most of our close friends and relatives were very understanding about our relationship, while the reporters could spoil everything. In the States they like to create stories.

SL – Coming back to the show “Ice Period”; don’t you think that the judges are giving out too many “6” marks.

EG – I agree. The mark 6 should be given in exceptional cases. It is strange, but it seems that judges are apologizing for giving a mark less than 6. If someone gets 5.7 it is a disaster. It should not be that way.

SL – Who of your competitors at the show became your friends?

EG – I do not have competitors on the show. I do not compete with any one. I do not have a goal to win at all times. I have very good relations with Tatiana Navka and Roman Kostomarov, with Albena Denkova and Maxim Stavisky, with Rita Drobjazko and Povilas Vanagas. I know them for a long time. We met at different championships. I think that when the show will be over, we will all remember it with pleasure.

SL – Will you go back to the States after the show?

EG – Yes, our children are there and they have to go to school in one place. For the New Year’s Eve we will come to Moscow.

SL – Russia badly needs coaches now. If the Russian Federation of Figure Skating would offer you a job as a coach, would you accept it?

EG – I would consider that offer. I like coaching. But I would not do it for about $400.00 a month.

SL – At the 2008 Worlds Championship the Russian figure skaters won only one bronze medal. How many years do you think we will be behind?

EG – May be three or five years. When I am watching my daughter practicing I observe how other girls of her age are doing. The seven years old girls are jumping two double jumps in one program. The 10 years old girls are jumping triple jumps. By the Vancouver Olympics the situation will not change, but at Sochi the results may be different. In regards of pairs and ice dancing, the results may be better in Vancouver.


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