My Favourite Love Story
What was it about them that captured my imagination? Their youth? Their innocent smiling faces? Their chemistry ?The way their bodies flowed ever so gracely over the ice in perfect harmony? In other words everything about them! Yes, I’m talking about the famous figure skaters Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov also affectionately known as G&G. I never had the opportunity of seeing them perform live together, but what little I had seen of them in TV just fascinated and mesmerized me!
Now, thanks to Youtube, I am able to see all their performances right from childhood. Childhood?Yes, that’s right, they met as children .She was a tiny 11 year old and he a gangly 15 yr old when they were first paired. They looked such an odd mismatched pair , but he was able to exploit his strength and her petite ness to create spectacular magical movements never seen before. They complemented each other in perfect synchrony of movements . She was like a sprite, flying through the air, spinning and whirling, which reminded me of Tinker Bell. He was the wizard, he let her fly and he brought her back! Their body language was astounding!
The tiny 11 yr old and the strong 15 yr old
They looked perfect, moved perfect, skated perfect, their poise and elegance so very perfect! They won the junior Championship for their country-Russia in 1984. Their commitment and talent were incredible and they went on to win four World Championships, two Olympic Gold medals, and the hearts of millions of fans all over the world. As the world watched in awe at this beautiful pair, their teenage crush blossomed into love. You could see and feel how much they loved each other! A friend said,“You would watch them and just wish you had that sort of relationship with someone. We all wish we could find that kind of feeling, that perfect nuclear life. So few people actually do."Their love for each other was so very obvious to anyone who saw them skate.
They began skating together as children and married in 1991.She was a glowing 18 yr old bride and he a handsome and regal groom of 23.The next year saw them become parents to a baby girl, Daria and the golden pair set off to win an Olympic Gold together the same year!Their romance was too perfect to last! On November 20 ,1995 during a routine training session at Lake Placid, New York instead of lifting Katia , Sergei gently laid down on the ice and his short and beautiful life ended abruptly at the age of twenty-eight, due to a sudden heart attack. In a flash, Katia lost her teenage love, the father of her daughter Daria who was just 3 years old, and her desire to ever skate again. In her own words to her friend, "Maybe everything was too good, too perfect. That was why it could not last." Maybe so..
To keep her sanity she returned back to ice in February 1996 .She was still beautiful, still had that smiling face, but gone was that innocent look, that sparkle in her eyes! There was a new maturity about her still beautiful self! She still laughed, she has a beautiful spontaneous smile but something was missing! She skated in a stirring solo televised tribute to her late husband Sergei called Celebration of a Life. It was based on what she thought would make him happy, knowing that he was watching. Her agent Deb Nast recalled, "She said she couldn't feel herself and Sergei took over. It allowed her to say goodbye."
She chronicled her fairytale life with Sergei in a national best-selling book, "My Sergei, A Love Story". She brought out another book, for her daughter, "A Letter for Daria" , in which she shares her special childhood memories and Russian traditions with her daughter. Since then, she has launched fragrances as well! Theirs was the most charming love affair in all of sports .Later on, Katia found love again, when she skated with another Russian Olympic champion Ilia Kulik in 1999 and married him in 2002 and they have another daughter Elizaveta.
I’ve watched Katia and Ilia skate together and though they skate in perfect harmony, the magic of G&G is not there! Such magical love stories happen once in a lifetime!