Sergey Grinkov: biography and personal life
Sergey Grinkov is a famous Soviet and Russian figure skater who performed in pair skating. He has the title of Honored Master of Sports in the USSR and in Russia. He achieved the greatest success in a duet with Ekaterina Gordeeva.
Biography of the skater
Sergey Grinkov was born in Moscow in 1967. At the age of 5, he entered the CSKA sports school for children and youth. He mastered the basics of figure skating.
His weakness was jumping, so he was not suitable for solo skiing. At age 15, decided to act in pairs. Vladimir Zakharov became his first coach in this new discipline.
A year later, he replaced him with Nadezhda Shevalovskaya (nee Gorshkova), the silver medalist of the USSR championship and personal choreographer Marina Zueva, the bronze medalist of the world championship.
In 1983, Sergei Grinkov first appeared at the world championship among youth. Took 6th place, and in 1984 won the gold medal. Already at that time he began to speak with Ekaterina Gordeeva.
At the prestigious international tournament, the coach Shevalovskaya included a triple salchow, a unique one for that time and pair skating, in the program. However, this risk was not justified. Gordeeva fell in the most crucial moment.
At Stanislav Zhuk
In 1985, the promising couple began to train the renowned coach Stanislav Zhuk - a multiple champion of the USSR and a three-time silver medalist at European championships.
Under his leadership, the couple felt confidence in themselves, mastered new complex elements. Right off the bat they started winning prizes. Grinkov and Gordeeva became vice-champions at the championships of the USSR and Europe. In 1986, they took gold medals at the World Championships in Geneva, Switzerland.
Grinkova, Ekaterina Gordeeva, became the youngest winner of the world championship in pairs skating at that time. She was only 15 years old.
At the same time, Stanislav Zhuk was a very tough and authoritarian coach. It all ended with the fact that Soviet figure skaters, including Grinkov and Gordeev, signed a collective appeal to the leadership of CSKA. In the end, the couple moved to a new mentor.
Under the command of Leonovich
In 1986, the pair undertook to train Stanislav Leonovich, a three-time champion of the Soviet Union. Zueva again became the choreographer.
The first serious exam for the pair with the new coach was the European Championships in Sarajevo. But then a misfortune happened. During the performance at Grinkov I got rid of the band on the skate. The American referee Wright stopped the music and started whistling. The couple, in spite of everything, continued to perform in complete silence. No ratings have been set. Skaters were disqualified. From the proposal of the organizers to repeat the program refused.
Rehabilitated managed at the World Championships in American Cincinnati. They won gold again. And they performed a very difficult for pair figure skating element - twist in four turns.
In 1987, in the pre-Olympic year, Sergey Grinkov missed the USSR championship because of the injury of his partner. In training, Gordeeva received a concussion.
In 1988, the couple went to their first Olympics. Gordeeva and Sergey Grinkov arrived in Calgary, Canada. The figure skater felt confident on the eve of the performance, and in trainings he was clearly fulfilling all the support.
The rivalry unfolded between compatriots and Americans. As a result, a pair of US skaters, Jill Watson and Peter Oppergard, won bronze. Soviet athletes Elena Valova and Oleg Vasiliev became silver medalists. Catherine Gordeeva and Sergey Grinkov received gold. The story of their success lies in the months of grueling workouts and in bringing the smallest elements to perfection.
Their performance was truly outstanding. For example, a free program to the music of Chopin, Mozart and Mendelssohn became classics of figure skating. All elements were executed flawlessly, including double axel, cascade and double sheepskin. Such a set was not previously encountered in pair skating.
In addition, Sergey Grinkov, whose photo adorned many sports publications that year, performed two shots and three supports on one hand. One of the rotations is also included in the textbooks. At first it went in the usual direction, then the partner went down, after a rapid rise and one more, already reverse rotation.
The best couple in the world
At the World Championships in Paris, in 1989, the pair again demonstrated flawless skating.All judges gave the first places to Soviet figure skaters.
More difficult was the world championship in 1990, in Canadian Halifax. In the short program, the estimate was underestimated by two-tenths of the points due to the fact that the arbitrators considered the performed spirals not to meet the requirements. In the free program, Gordeeva made a mistake - she stumbled while performing a triple toe loop, and also performed her own combination of jumps with blots. It was possible to defeat the rivals only by a margin of one vote. Canadians Isabel Brasseur and Lloyd Asler came close to them in that world championship.
In professional sport
In 1990, the couple retired from amateur sports. They begin to perform at the renowned coach Tatiana Tarasova in the All-Star Ice Theater. At the same time they have to refuse to participate in world and European championships.
For two years, they compete in professional world championships, receiving significantly higher fees for participation and prizes.
In 1991, Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergey Grinkov were married. The love story of their couple totaled more than one year. In 1992, they had a daughter, Daria.Because of pregnancy, Gordeeva temporarily interrupted her performances.
In 1993, the International Olympic Committee and the World Skating Union changed the rules and allowed professional athletes to take part in competitions held under their auspices. So, Gordeeva and Grinkov got the opportunity to go to another Olympic Games.
They are triumphantly returning to the big sport. Winning first place in the championships of Russia and Europe.
Olympics in Lillehammer
In 1994, the couple won the right to take part in the Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway. This time they are not playing for the USSR national team, but for the national team of Russia.
It was a triumphal Olympiad for domestic figure skaters. Only Ukrainian Oksana Baiul, who won the women's single skating, managed to push them back from the first place. Alexey Urmanov won the men, Oksana Grischuk and Yevgeny Platov won in ice dancing. In pair skating excelled Gordeeva and Grinkov. The Russians (Natalia Mishkutenok and Arthur Dmitriev) were also second, Canadians Isabel Brasseur and Lloyd Eisler won bronze medals.
Tragedy on ice
The death of figure skater Sergey Grinkov came suddenly, in the prime of his career. In November 1995, while training in the American city of Lake Placid, he lost consciousness right on the ice. Immediately the doctors who called him first aid were called.
However, all was unsuccessful. Skater Sergey Grinkov died on the spot. The cause of death, according to the doctors, is a massive heart attack. The famous athlete was only 28 years old.
Grinkova was buried in Moscow, at the Vagankovsky cemetery.
Gordeeva re-married Ilya Kulik, Olympic figure skating champion.