Figure Skater, Olimpic Champion
Often called "Katia", Gordeeva was born in Moscow, Soviet Union on May 28, 2971. Gordeeva began skating at the age of four, in skates many sizes too big, wearing multiple pairs of socks because skates small enough for her feet were unavailable in the Soviet Union. She was not a particularly strong jumper, and in August 1981, coach Vladimir Zaharov paired the 10-year-old Gordeeva with the 14-year-old Sergei Grinkov. Gordeeva and Grinkov won almost every competition they entered. In the 31 competitions whose results are known at the senior and professional levels, they finished first 24 times, and never lower than second from the time they won their first senior world title. By 1989, the skating partnership had blossomed into romance. They shared their first kiss on New Year's Eve 1988. They were married in April 1991. On September 11, 1992, their daughter, Daria Sergeyevna Grinkova, was born in Morristown, New Jersey. During the 1994–95 season, they toured with Stars on Ice, this time as headliners. On November 20, 1995, Sergei Grinkov collapsed on the ice and died at age 28 from a massive heart attack. In February 1996, Gordeeva returned to the ice, this time as a solo performer. Gordeeva returned to Stars on Ice as a solo skater in 1996 and toured with the show every year until 2000, when she took time off to give birth to her second daughter in June 2001. She stopped competing in 2000, but continues to skate in professional skating tours, shows and competitions. On June 15, 2001, Gordeeva gave birth to her second daughter Liza Kulik. Gordeeva and Kulik married in a private ceremony in San Francisco on June 10, 2002.
Did You Know?
Together with her late partner and husband Sergei Grinkov, she was the 1988 and 1994 Olympic Champion and four-time World Champion in pair skating. After her husband's death, she continued performing as a singles skater.
Other interesting facts:
That summer, Gordeeva and Grinkov were chosen for induction into theWorld Figure Skating Hall of Fame and the pair planned to return to Stars on Ice for their fourth season with the tour. She and her family speak Russian at home, and travel to Russia frequently. She also appeared in the 2003 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue as a featured athlete.