Lyudmila Pakhomova – figure skater
Lyudmila Pakhomova was a prominent Soviet figure skater, Olympic champion (1976), six-time world champion (1970-1974, 1976) and champion of Europe (1970-1971, 1973-1976), nine-time champion of the USSR (1964-1966, 1969-1971, 1973-1975) in ice dancing (with V.I. Ryzhkin in 1964-1966, with A.G. Gorshkov from 1969), Honored Master of Sports of the USSR (1970), Honored coach of the RSFSR (1984). She is the author of the books “The choreography in figure skating”, “Monologue after the applause”, “And the music is forever”.
Lyudmila was born on December 31, 1946 in Moscow. Her mother was a physician, and her father was a General, Hero of the Soviet Union. Her father wanted Lyudmila to become a parachutist.
She began skating at the age of seven at Young Pioneers Stadium in Moscow.
In 1964, Pakhomova and Ryzhkin became champions at the championship of the USSR held in Kirov. They performed together for two years and then their duo broke up. The change of the partner Lyudmila called “the first the most difficult test” in her sport career.
In 1967, Pakhomova performed with Alexander Gorshkov. They became six-time world champions. Their coach was Elena Tchaikovskaya.
In 1969 they were awarded silver medals at the world championship, and in 1970 they became the first Soviet skaters to win European and World Championships. In the same year they married. In 1977 Lyudmila gave birth to their daughter Yulia.
Pakhomova and Gorshkov changed the style of ice dance. Largely due to their successful performances at the world championships sports dances were included in the Olympic program, and in 1976 in Innsbruck Pakhomova and Gorshkov became the first Olympic champions in ice dancing.
In the fall of 1976 after the brilliant victories on the European and World championships and Olympic Games Pakhomova and Gorshkov decided to leave amateur sports. They had arranged a farewell ball in the Palace of Sports, and the last of their dance was the famous La Cumparsita.
In 1970, Lyudmila graduated from the State Institute of Theatrical Arts and became a coach. In 1978 she became a coach of the USSR national team. Her most famous students were junior world champions (1983) Tatiana Gladkova and Igor Shpilband winners of Universiade in Sofia (1983), winners of the championships of the USSR Natalia Annenko and Heinrich Sretensky.
Lyudmila Pakhomova died from Hodgkin lymphoma on May 17, 1986. She was 39 years old.