Ekaterina Gordeeva, figure skater
Ekaterina Gordeeva is a former Soviet and Russian figure skater. Paired with her partner and husband Sergei Grinkov, Gordeeva was two-time Olympic champion (1988 and 1994), four-time world champion, three-time European champion and three-time world champion among professionals. After her husband’s death, she continued performing as a singles skater.
Honored Master of Sports of the USSR (1988), Honored Master of Sports of Russia (1994).
Ekaterina was born on May 28, 1971 in Moscow, Soviet Union (now Russia).
4-year-old girl was engaged in figure skating. She entered Children and Youth Sports School of CSKA Moscow, where she met Sergei. It turned out that for single skating Katya and Sergei’s jumps were not strong enough, and they began skating together. It happened in August 1981. The girl was eleven, and the boy was fifteen. So began their love and brilliant career.
They won the 1985 World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
On March 19, 1986 Gordeeva and Grinkov won gold at the World Championships in Geneva. Ekaterina became the youngest world champion.
The pair successfully defended their World title in 1987. At the European Championships in Sarajevo, their result was annulled due to technical reasons, but at the World Championships in Cincinnati, they won again.
In November 1987 Gordeeva was injured and the couple missed the USSR championship.
Then they won the European Championship and on February 16, 1988 became Olympic champions. Their performance to the music by Mendelssohn, Chopin and Mozart became a masterpiece in the history of figure skating. They remain the youngest pairs team ever to win Olympic Gold.
Gordeeva and Grinkov won almost every competition they entered.
In April 1991, Ekaterina and Sergei got married. On September 11, 1992, their daughter, Daria Grinkova, was born in Morristown, New Jersey.
In 1993, Gordeeva and Grinkov won Russian and European Championships and the Olympic Games in Lillehammer.
During one of the trainings in Lake Placid Sergei suddenly fell down on the ice. In November 1995 28-year-old Sergei Grinkov died of a massive heart attack.
In February 1996, Gordeeva returned to the ice, this time as a solo performer. Her first solo performance was a tribute to her husband. She decided that she would dance. Alone, without Sergei, but for him.
A year after Sergei’s death, a book ‘My Sergei. Love Story’ was published in America. In February 1998 CBS aired an eponymous docudrama based on the book. She published the second book in April, 1998, titled “A Letter for Daria”.
Five years after Sergei’s death, she met a new love. Ekaterina met Nagano Olympic champion Ilya Kulik. Soon they began to perform together. On June 15, 2001 their daughter Liza was born in a hospital in Los Angeles. Gordeeva and Kulik married in a private ceremony in San Francisco on June 10, 2002.
Ekaterina Gordeeva has signed several contracts, the most notable of which was with Target and led to two perfumes (“Katia” and “Katia Sport”) which were sold through Target stores. Gordeeva and her daughter, Daria, appeared in the 1997 holiday movie “Snowden on Ice” and Ekaterina appeared in the 1998 sequel, ” The Snowden, Raggedy Ann and Andy Holiday Show”.
She also appeared in the 2003 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue as a featured athlete. In 2003, she appeared on the ice with Daria for the first time. The pair performed a duet during a Mother’s Day show.
In 2010 Gordeeva with hockey player Valeri Bure participated in the figure skating reality show “Battle of the Blades”. And they won the competition.