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My Favourite Love Story

Updated on January 9, 2009

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!

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    • profile image

      Monisha 

      6 years ago

      Laila thank you for introducing me to such a purity of feelings.....love talent and connection...beautiful and poignant.....plus you write so well...you engage the reader with images and scenes just like your most delicious cakes...ever looking forward to throes memories....God Bless!

    • Laila Rajaratnam profile imageAUTHOR

      Laila Rajaratnam 

      9 years ago from India

      VioletSun, thanks ! Yes, whenever I watch them skating ,I am reminded of their story and it never fails to make me sniff as well!

      Moonlake,thanks for stopping by!Wish there were fairy tale endings in real life too!

      Madison,so wonderful to hear that your sis was a pro skater!Yes,skating is soo beautiful and stirring in some sort of manner to watch! Maybe the power, grace,elegance and the perfect body movements touches a chord in us. They have the freedom to sway along with the wind which maybe subconsiouly we too would love to have. They do look like that...its fascinating. Back to G&G,their story still has the ability to move and bring tears to people.

      Thanks for appreciating my hub!:)

    • Madison Parker profile image

      Madison Parker 

      9 years ago from California

      What a beautiful hub! I love to watch skating, my sister was a pro skater and so our family always had a special love for the sport.

      Their story was one of the most lovely and tragic and you brought it back to me and it brought tears to my eyes when I thought back to the time she again took the ice to honor her lost love.

      Lovely hub,

      Madison

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 

      9 years ago from America

      Enjoyed this love story sad but nice.True Love stories rarely end happy. Life somehow will always end it. Good hub.

    • VioletSun profile image

      VioletSun 

      9 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      Laila: Oooh, this story made me sniff, its like a fairytale except it ended sadly at least from the human perspective. Who knows what the higher reason was for this young man's early death, but still it feels so sad. Thanks for writing this beautifully! Sniff, again. :)

    • Laila Rajaratnam profile imageAUTHOR

      Laila Rajaratnam 

      9 years ago from India

      Thanks Marlene..I love magical love stories.Thanks for the appreciation!

    • Marlene F. profile image

      Marlene F. 

      9 years ago from Richmond, Virginia

      Beautiful Hub devoted to an amazing story!

    • Laila Rajaratnam profile imageAUTHOR

      Laila Rajaratnam 

      9 years ago from India

      Thanks sheenarobins..will definitely do so!Thanks.:)

    • sheenarobins profile image

      sheenarobins 

      9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Laila,

      The Cutting Edge movie is Moira Kelly and D.B. Sweeney. It's a correction on my first post. It's one of my favorite. check it out, you might like it too.

    • Laila Rajaratnam profile imageAUTHOR

      Laila Rajaratnam 

      9 years ago from India

      Thanks,Anjali! Each time I watch G&G skate together I am so moved and there is a lump in my throat! Thanks for stopping by!:)

    • anjalichugh profile image

      anjalichugh 

      9 years ago from New York

      Thx for sharing the video. I get shivers down my spine when I see such dance performances. I have seen such dance competitions on TV and beleive me, the way they dance, it shouts nothing but 'harmony' and 'communion'. I loved to watch the videos. Thx

    • Laila Rajaratnam profile imageAUTHOR

      Laila Rajaratnam 

      9 years ago from India

      Yes Aya..Button,in Time described Katia as 'a very elegant snowflake, but one that is made of steel.'

    • Laila Rajaratnam profile imageAUTHOR

      Laila Rajaratnam 

      9 years ago from India

      Thanks for stopping by,sheenarobins.I still have not seen 'The Cutting Edge'.Will definitely check out the movie!Thanks!

    • sheenarobins profile image

      sheenarobins 

      9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      It'a very touching story and the music on the video is very sad while they're skating. I felt my cheecks getting warm. It reminded me of the movie, "The Cutting Edge", Marissa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr. Although, this story is far more touching.

      thanks for sharing.

    • Laila Rajaratnam profile imageAUTHOR

      Laila Rajaratnam 

      9 years ago from India

      Cross my heart..your secret is safe!:)Anyway,continue to be all over hubpages..it is fun!:)

    • countrywomen profile image

      countrywomen 

      9 years ago from Washington, USA

      Shhhh now don't tell my boss. Although now he keeps wondering why I don't spend any time away from my desk (poor fellow drops in occasionally to tell me to take a break and not to be so hard working when I am hardly working)...LOL

    • Laila Rajaratnam profile imageAUTHOR

      Laila Rajaratnam 

      9 years ago from India

      Thanks for the appreciation,Aya!:)

      CW..I always suspected thats what you were up to- minimize hubpages window,while working..LOL..you proved me right..thats how you are all over hubpages all the time..LOL!

    • countrywomen profile image

      countrywomen 

      9 years ago from Washington, USA

      Laila- Even I feel the ending should have been different in "Love Story" but never the less it still ranks pretty high in my favorites. If you are a die hard Microsoft fan you should have Zune...LOL. Just kidding and glad you have so much fun all the time. I have my laptop with me all the time and even in office I minimize the hub pages window in my laptop while working. It is way beyond addiction now for me....hehe

    • Aya Katz profile image

      Aya Katz 

      9 years ago from The Ozarks

      Laila, thanks for this story! This is also an example of a woman who married young and knew what she was doing!

    • Laila Rajaratnam profile imageAUTHOR

      Laila Rajaratnam 

      9 years ago from India

      Thanks,CW..I too love happy endings..thats why I dont much care for Eric Segal's Love Story.I have most of G&G's performances on my iPod!:)

    • countrywomen profile image

      countrywomen 

      9 years ago from Washington, USA

      WOW!! A nice touching real love story. I really wish such stories had a long happy married life (now I am too influenced with Indian movies happy endings)..hehe.

      Love story by Eric Segal is one of my all time favorite love stories in books/movies. Another great hub. Thumbs up:-)

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