Elena Ilinykh – Nikita Katsalapov are Russian figure skaters. You know, they are 2014 Olympic champions, 2013 European silver medalists, 2012 European bronze medalists. By the way, they are three-time Russian national silver medalists, 2010 World Junior Champions, 2009 JGP Final silver medalists, Honored Masters of Sports of Russia.
Elena was born on April 25, 1994 in Aktau, Kazakhstan. She began skating at the age of four. Elena always wanted to try her hand at ice dancing, which seemed to her something special and beautiful. In her group there was a boy, Nikita Katsalapov, whose mother wanted him to dance. So Lena and Nikita teamed up in 2005. But they often quarreled and as a result, their couple broke up. Ilinykh said they were too young at that time to understand the partnership and find a compromise.
In 2006, Elena went to the U.S. to train in Igor Shpilband and Marina Zueva’s group. There she has gained invaluable experience in skating. In America Lena didn’t find a partner. In 2008 she came to Moscow. After a while it was decided that Lena and Nikita should skate together. In 2008 Volkov and Zhulin became their coaches.