Romance and Mystery Novels

by Alina Adams

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Learn about Ice Theatre, here.
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.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Plans of Evgeny Pluschenko

Translation of an interview by Jaroslav Korbatov (JK) with the President of Russian Figure Skating Federation Valentin Piseev (VP) printed in the Russian Language publication “Komsomolskaya Pravda” on October 25, 2008.

JK – Is the return of Pluschenko imminent?

VP – It is hard to say. I have Evgeny’s individual plan which we discussed back in August when he came in for one of the qualifying performances. He was in good form. His appearance stimulated the performances of the other skaters. He is not practicing every day, but he still could jump a series of triple jumps one after another.

The other thing was that he was supposed to perform in a special program: he was supposed to participate in one of the segments of the Grand Prix. Then we talked about his participation in November at the Cup of Russia in Moscow, but he did not show up for any of these events.

It is not clear if he will be participating in any competitions this season and if he will come back to the big sports at all. When we talked on the phone the last time, Evgeny told me that if he would feel like participating in the competitions, he would just show up at the Championship of Russia. If he would miss this event, he will not be eligible to participate in the European and World Championships. He wants to participate, but he has to drop other shows and businesses and start practicing twice every day, while these days he can practice only a couple of days a week.

JK – Does he have a weight problem?

VP – He has lost about 8 pounds already. It was part of his training program. He has to drop another 8 pounds.

JK – Is he a member of the National team? Is he getting paid as a team member?

VP – Yes, we included him in the National Team at the beginning of the season. And he is getting paid as an Olympic Champion. But our salary is not that much for him.

JK - There was a rumor that at the Gala Show “Starry Ice” Evgeny had shown his program that he would skate at the Vancouver Olympics.

VP – Those were just gossips. In the first place at the show venue one could not skate an Olympic program, the size of the ice is different and that is very important. He could only show some fragments and the music. Although I am not sure if he defined his music yet. He had several options – some were offered by his coach Alexey Mishin, but Evgeny was waiting for his friend, Hungarian violinist Edvin Martion to present some music to him. Evgeny said that he will finalize his choice of music during his European tour. He will have ten shows there and will try out different pieces of his program and the music. Recently he was performing in Italy and the President of the International Union of Figure Skaters Mr. Chiquanta was very impressed by his performance.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Prejudice against Russian figure skaters started long ago.

Translation of an interview by Dmitry Nadezhdin (DN) with Alexey Mishin (AM) printed in a Russian Language newspaper “Komsomolskaya Pravda” on October 29, 2008.

On October 29, 1908, one hundred years ago today, Russian figure skater Panin-Kolomenking won with some difficulties the first Russian Olympic gold medal in figure skating at the London Olympics.

As it also was in recent years, a big scandal surrounded that event. The judges and competitors created tremendous difficulties for the Russian skater who was competing with the strongest skaters in the world.

The Swiss and Swedish judges were doing anything they could to give the first place to the famous Swedish skater Ulrich Salchow, in whose honor one of the jumps in figure skating was named. But at the London Olympics, Mr. Salchow acted not as a honorable gentlemen at all. When Panin-Kolomenkin performed his program, Mr. Salchow stood at the side of the rink and made loud comments designed to make Mr. Panin- Kolomenkin lose his concentration and make mistakes. When it did not help, he started hysterically yelling at the judges, and was officially reprimanded. Nevertheless the Russian figure skater received low marks and ended up second in the compulsory program. In protest he skipped the free program and the gold medal went to Mr. Salchow.

Panin–Kolomenkin won in a different competition, where the judges could not fix the results – in actual “figure” skating, where the sportsmen were presenting drawings of figures on paper to the judges and then reproducing the figures on ice. When the Russian skater presented his drawings, the judges could not believe that such figures could be performed on ice without taking the skate off the ice, and when he was able to do it, Mr. Salchow withdraw from that event and the Russian skater got the gold medal.

DN – Alexey, how are you going to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of Russian figure skating?

AM – But of course with a shot of vodka, as Mr. Panin – Kolomenkin would like to do himself.

DN – You wrote a whole book about him. Is it true that the judges even that long ago were prejudiced against Russian skaters?

AM – Actually the problem was not only with the judges. He was not very strong in free program, but he was outstanding in figures.

DN – Who do you think was the most outstanding Russian figure skater in the last century?

AM – Irina Rodnina. Of course different people have different tastes and it is hard to have a universal opinion. One has to compare the results – and Irina has the highest results in the sport. Besides her we do not have a three time Olympic Champion. That is why I would call her the Figure Skater of the Century.

DN – These days our figure skating became mostly a TV show on ice. Do you think that in this sport we will make progress in the future again?

AM – I think that it is nice to have the TV shows on ice. They are promoting figure skating. Success will come back as well.

List of Russian Olympic champions

Men’s single skating:

1908 – Nikolay Panin – Kolomenkin;
1992 – Victor Petrenko;
1994 – Alexey Urmanov;
1998 – Ilja Kulik;
2002 - Alexey Yagudin;
2006 – Evgeny Pluschenko.

Pairs skating:

1964 – Ludmila Belousova - Oleg Protopopov;
1968 - Ludmila Belousova - Oleg Protopopov;
1972 – Irina Rodnina – Alexey Ulanov;
1976 – Irina Rodnina – Alexander Zaitsev;
1980 - Irina Rodnina – Alexander Zaitsev;
1984 – Elena Valova – Oleg Vasiliev;
1988 – Ekaterina Gordeeva – Sergey Grinkov;
1992 – Natalia Mishkutenok – Artur Dmitriev;
1994 – Ekaterina Gordeeva – Sergey Grinkov;
1998 – Oxana Kazakova – Artur Dmitriev;
2002 – Elena Bereznaya – Anton Sikharulidze;
2006 - Tatiana Totmjanina – Maxim Marinin.

Ice dancing:

1976 – Ludmila Pachomova – Alexander Gorshkov;
1980 – Natalia Linichuk – Gennady Karponosov;
1988 – Natalia Bestemjanova – Andrey Bukin;
1992 – Marina Klimova – Sergey Ponomarenko
1994 – Oxana Grishchuk – Evgeny Platov;
1998 - Oxana Grishchuk – Evgeny Platov;
2002 – Marina Anisina – Gvendal Peizera (Marina skated under French flag);
2006 – Tatiana Navka – Roman Kostomarov.

There were no Russian Olympic Champions in women’s single skating.
Previous Skaters