Translation of an article by Maria Remizova printed in the Russian Language publication “Komsomolskaja Pravda on November 27, 2008.
Thanks to two almost identical ice shows – “The Ice Period” and “Starry Ice” figure skating became the most popular sport in Russia, just like it was in the former Soviet Union.
Two main TV channels – Channel One and “Russia” -- this year again are fighting in mortal combat for ratings. And as the saying goes – in war the ends justify the means. The channels are not only employing the best coaches, selecting the right jury and other interested parties, but are also paying attention to the wild personal lives of the participants. As if on their command, families and hearts are broken on ice. And it is no wonder that romances flourish in the shows, since the star participants are practically living with each other on ice for months.
For example Tatiana Navka, who was for several years married to a coach of the Ice Period Alexander Zhulin, and who always claimed that their marriage was great, has been seen in the company of Marat Basharov. She was seen leaving in the morning the Moscow Ritz Carlton hotel where she secretly meets Basharov. Basharov and Navka are not even hiding their romance any more from the people around them. This was not the first romance of Bashariov with a figure skater. His first flame was Maria Butirskaya. He was so much in love with her that he was considering divorcing his wife, but Maria was not ready for him and broke up their relationship.
Alexander Zhulin was not falling much behind Navka and was seen in public with young female skaters.
Figure skater Sergey Slavnov found his love on the ice. His partner - the young actress Anastasia Zadoroznaja, became ill during the show and he was so kind to her during that period that her heart melted and she fell in love with him.
The Ice Period show radically affected the life of another figure skating couple – Margarita Drobjazko and Povilas Vanagas. Before the show, these sportspeople lived very well for 10 years. Than suddenly Povilas asked for a divorce based on the fact that Margarita started a romance with her partner – the actor Alexander Djachenko, with whom, it has been said, she is currently sharing an apartment.
Although Vanagas was not lonely for long - he was seen going out with his partner – the actress Ksenia Alferova.
Evgeny Pluschenko initially supported the decision of his girlfriend Jana Rudkovskaya to participate in the show Ice Period. He even gave her some training. It is not a secret that the couple is very rarely together – they live in two different cities – Evgeniy is living and practicing in St. Petersburg and Jana is living and working in Moscow. But seeing who she was paired with at the show made Pluschenko worried. The figure skater Ruslan Goncharov was a serious competitor for the heart of Jana. If Rudkovskaja would not be engaged to Pluschenko, she would fall for Goncharov. The unavailability of Jana drives Ruslan crazy. Seeing this situation Pluschenko started spending more time with Jana and even accompanied her to practices and tapings.
After her divorce from Averbuch, Irina Lobacheva and Ilja stayed friends, but Irina was very depressed. Her partner at the show - Dmitry Marjanov, helped her to get over Ilja and out of depression.
Alexey Yagudin did not have much luck with romances in the previous shows. He, who used to win in competitions, was mostly unhappy with the performances as skaters of his female partners on ice. This year he is skating with a 21 years old actress Valeria Lanskaja who was trained as a dancer from childhood. Valeria met Yagudin a few months before the start of the show when they both worked at a serial – “My Hot Ice.” Yagudin started paying attention to her then, but she was not interested, since she was getting married to her than boyfriend of three years – Andrey. Yagudin himself was not free at that time – he was having a romance with singer Sasha Saveljeva. Their relationship was broken up by another figure skater – Tatiana Totmjanina. But that intrigue was not long lasting either. Currently Yaguding is going out with his partner – Valeria Lanskaya, who apparently is no longer engaged to Andrey.
Translation of an article printed in the Russian language publication “Zhizn” on December 16, 2008.
For the first time after his official break up with his fiancée Nadezda, Anton Sikharulidze was seen in public with his new girlfriend.
The figure skater came to the presentation of a solo album by Anna Semenovich in the company of a gorgeous blonde. They stayed at the party just for 20 minutes. They came in the club through the back door and went directly to the VIP zone.
Anton and his girlfriend did not see anyone around them – they were completely absorbed by each other. Anton was talking only with her and was gently holding her hand. Their privacy was secured by two bodyguards. After paying their respects to the hostess, they left the same way they came - through the back door.
A few months ago Anton canceled the wedding to his then fiancée - 23 years old journalist Nadezda. The wedding was supposed to be on the 5th of July. The break up occurred after the finale of the show “The Ice Period.” Anton’s participation in the show was the sore point between Anton and Nadezda for quite some time.
Translation of an article by Sergey Dadigin printed in the Russian language publication Express Gazeta on November 27, 2008.
Many fans of figure skating are still guessing why Oxana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin left Russia for the USA. How could it happen that they left the coach who gave them many years of his life, and because of whom they for the first time became the European Champions this year?
Oxana and Maxim are now training at the ice center of the State of Delaware with coaches Natalia Linichuk and Gennady Karponosov. As it became known, Linichuk invited them a year ago, but then she just used the invitation as a trial balloon. Last summer the skaters themselves contacted the famous coach and told her that they were ready to move.
That decision of Domnina and Shabalin was completely unexpected by their longtime coach, Alexey Gorshkov. When Oxana and Maxim wanted to meet with him before leaving for the States and explain their decision, he was so angry that he refused to see them. “I see what is going on, go anywhere you want” - said Gorshkov.
The president of the Russian Figure Skating Federation, Mr. Valentin Piseev, thinks that Shabalin was upset with Gorshkov. Allegedly the coach forced Shabalin to participate in the European Championship in Zagreb. A month before the competition, Shabalin had an operation on his knee and did not completely recover. The skaters won the European Championship, but Maxim developed complications with the operated leg and they had to skip the World Championship. At the Moscow segment of the Grand Prix in November, Domnina and Shabalin for the first time performed for the Russian audience as pupils of Natalia Linichuk. A few days before the competition, Domnina and Shabalin came to practice at the same rink where they worked with Gorshkov for the last several years. Gorshkov was on the ice at that time and the coach and his ex-students just acknowledged each other with a nod.
Gorshkov said that he was upset by the way it was all done behind his back; that he did not force Shabalin to take part in the European competition – it was Shabalin’s decision. “If he would not want to participate, no one could force him,” -said Gorshkov. “The other thing was that I felt then and I feel now that it was important for him to take part in that competition. Since shortly before that they won the Grand Prix, it was important to establish them as real world class competitors. They needed to be seen by the judges. Ice dancing is a very subjective kind of sport. If you miss some events, your place will be overtaken. The title of European Champions is going to stay with them for good, no one would take it ever away. Their rating went high up after Zagreb."
Last June, Gennady Karponosov’s mother passed away. He and Natalia came to Moscow for the funeral. At that time, the deal with Domnina and Shabalin was fixed. Everything went very fast from that point on. In a few days Linichuk and Karponosov went back to the States together with Domnina and Shabalin. Oxana’s boyfriend, Olympic Champion in ice dancing Roman Kostomarov stayed back in Moscow. He begged Oxana not to leave. But she would not listen and now they see each other occasionally.
When accomplished skaters leave their coaches it is always a drama. Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergey Grinkov left legendary coach Stanislav Zhuk with a big scandal. Alexey Yagudin – World and Olympic Champion left Alexey Mishin. Maria Butirskaya dropped coach Victor Kudrjavtsev. It is hard to count them all. At some point in the past, Natalia Linichuk lost to Tatiana Tarsova the famous ice dancers Oxana Grishchuk and Evgeny Platov, although it was Linichuk who made them Olympic Champions in Lillehammer.
Relations between the coaches and their pupils are a complex matter. Often, when sportspeople leave their coaches, they forget to pay them for their work. Gorshkov did not suffer financially from the skaters, but he has some claims against Linichuk. Domnina started her career not with Gorshkov but with another coach – Irina Fedorova. At some point Oxana and Maxim worked with another coach – Oleg Sudakov. Gorshkov payed off these coaches when he took on the pair. Linichuk will take advantage of the pair’s European Champions’ status and will get financial benefits without sharing them with Gorshkov. He feels that it is not fair, but he does not have any contact with Linichuk, although he has no problems with other coaches.
At the Moscow segment of Grand Prix there were two Russian pairs competing – Domnina and Shabalin and Khohlova and Novitsky. When Gorshkov was asked who would he like to win – he said Khohlova and Novitsky. The pain was still there!
These days Gorshkov is coaching ice dancers from Japan, Ukraine and Azerbaijan. In other words he works for the competition.
(My apologies that the above sounds a bit like a soft core porn version of "Law & Order.")
When my figure skating mysteries, "Murder on Ice," On Thin Ice," "Axel of Evil," "Death Drop," and "Skate Crime," came out, my publisher printed the book, shipped it to warehouses around the country, and confirmed that it had landed on the shelves of various Barnes & Nobles, Waldenbooks, Borders, several independent book stores and on-line at Amazon.com.
And then we all waited for people to buy it.
But first, the people had to find it.
And even though a moniker like Alina Adams does mean at least I'm one of the first names browsers see as they peruse the mystery shelves, the odds of my book sticking out in the public consciousness from among the literally hundreds of thousands of other titles available (and we're not even talking about all of the books that have been published since the printing press was invented; I'm talking about the books available just that day in just that space) was always rather slim.
Original paperbacks (as opposed to paperback releases of books that were a hit in hardcover), even if they manage to sell out their print-runs, rarely become huge, best-selling hits. (There are, of course, notable exceptions, but I'm referring to the average romance or mystery novel).
On the other hand, my upcoming novel, "The Man From Oakdale," will be promoted on television, as a tie-in to the soap opera, "As The World Turns." It will get front of the store placing in many book-stores and (we're hoping) maybe even make a best-seller list or two.
Its predecessor, another ATWT tie-in called "Oakdale Confidential" was #3 on the "New York Times" best-seller list for two weeks and on the accounting overall for more than a month.
What's interesting is that, as the author of each of the above books, it's not like I worked harder on one tome than I did on another. It's not like I spiked one with secret bestseller sauce and left the others to languish.
To me, their fundamental literary quality is the same.
But the difference is soft v. hard.
One is a paperback and one is hardback, which means, when it comes to promotion, one is the unloved stepchild, and the other the belle of the ball.
To read more about "The Man From Oakdale" and "As The World Turns," click here!
I had my first ever head-shot taken in November of 1997. At the time, I'd published two Regency Romances, but my first single-title contemporary romance, "Annie's Wild Ride" was about to come out Summer of 1998, and I needed an author photo.
I had it done the same day I did the photos for my press credential at the 1998 Nagano Olympics.
I was 28 years old, single, and alternating free-lance, television production work in skating and soap operas with writing novels and assorted articles and short stories for publications ranging from "International Figure Skating Magazine" to "Lilith" to "Black Diaspora."
This past November, eleven years after the first, I finally had another shot done. Now I was 39 years old, married with three kids (in fact, my solo shot was part of our holiday card session), the author of five figure skating mysteries, three non-fiction books on skating, four romance novels, and two soap opera tie-in books, with a third, "The Man From Oakdale" set to hit the shelves in January 2009. I still freelance occasionally, but mostly on issues of multicultural family life and parenting.
They're two pictures of me, but they present a pair of completely different people.