If you enjoy figure skating and knowing more about the lives behind the athletes you watch, then this book is for you. It's an easy read and is written as though Ekaterina is simply talking to you - telling her story. It provides glimpses of the Soviet Union before Perostroyka and gives you a new appreciation for our own country. This absolutely genuine girl/woman has offered you her life story and let you share her pain in a pure way that only she could do. Her epilogue shows her own ability to reach for hope beyond her grief. It leaves the reader both crying and smiling as this girl/woman has grown up and stretches for even more wisdom.
While it will never be listed as classic literature, this book provides the reader with a gift that only Katia could give.
This is the beautiful and tragic love story of Sergi and Ekaterina Gordeeva. If you thought they were beautiful and magical on the ice, their story is even more beautiful and magical!
Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov were one of the finest ice skating pairs in the world. Born in Russia, they won European championships, world championships, and gold medals at two Olympics. They married in 1991 and continued to perform after the birth of their daughter. Sergei died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 28 while rehearsing with his wife. Gordeeva here describes their skating and personal life in Russia and the United States in poignant, caring detail. Equally captivating are her descriptions of her childhood, her family, and her life as a champion and professional skater. Unlike recent tell-alls about figure skating (e.g., the Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding spectacle), this biography is not sensational. It simply tells the story of two hard-working, competitive young people who fell in love and whose love ended too soon.
Performing in their flawless, elegant, and unique style, Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov were the most celebrated pairs skaters of all time. Tragically, Their fairy-tale perfect story came to an end on November 20, 1995 when Sergei died of a heart attack at the age of twenty-eight. This book was appealing for its skating theme and tragic love story. Ice skating has always been a beautiful, elegant sport to all who watch, but we rarely know the full story behind the athletes we see. To learn about this couple who were initially partners on the ice and then partners in life seemed very interesting. They were two soul mates who were partners on and off the ice.
Ekaterina Gordeeva was a tiny, serious and very shy girl of eleven who was always obedient. Sergei Grinkov was a fun-loving, outgoing boy of fifteen. Both were talented and dedicated. They were mismatched kids paired together as chance. Ekaterina, or Katia as people call her, recalls this as the start of their relationship, although she knew none of it at the time.
Gordeeva and Grinkov (G & G as they were known) they won four World Championships and two Olympic gold medals. At their first Olympics, Katia did not think they really deserved a gold medal. They were with a strict coach who had them do plain non-original programs. There was no expressive movements or technical merit. Socially, Katia's experience was negative because she was only sixteen. She did not fit in with all the older kids, and often felt lonely. They would go to bars and leave her out. After the Olympics, Katia and Sergei felt it was time to switch coaches. They wanted better choreography and increased difficulty in their routines. One of their old coaches came back to them. Marina Zueva was an amazing creative choreographer and coach. She also had the best musical taste. She taught them new elements and facial moods to express when they skated. This was important to Katia because they were able to make their skating unique and interesting to watch.
Between training and competing, the couple fell madly in love. They managed to express their deep emotions for each other in a passionate skating style. They married and had a child a year later. Their daughter was born on September 11, 1992, and was named Daria. Their skating became even more inspired by the birth of Daria. Katia felt very fortunate and happy to have such a wonderful family. Sergei was her protector and would never do anything to harm her. It was almost like a fantasy. In their second Olympics, they did a program to the Moonlight Sonata and won gold. It was what they had been wishing for so long. "This one we won for each other." (page 226) Katia felt her goal had been finally reached.
On November 20, 1995, Katia and Sergei were doing a routine practice session with Marina. They were skating through their early movements of their developing program. They were supposed to do crossovers before a lift. "The full orchestra was just coming in, one of those high waves of music Marina liked so much. Sergei was gliding on the ice, but he didn't do the crossovers. His hand didn't go around my waist for the lift." (page 255) Sergei glided into the boards, then bent his knees and lay down on the ice carefully. Marina came over to him, and she knew it was a heart attack and started CPR on him. When he was brought to the hospital, the doctor gave him electric shocks and a shot of Adrenalin in the heart. However, they had lost Sergei. The next few weeks were a blur. There were many arrangements to be done and decisions to be made. Katia was very devastated and felt as if her life had ended also.
A celebration of Sergei's life was planned. Fellow skaters came together to put on a show, and Katia prepared a solo program. She was so emotional throughout the celebration. When she went out to skate her solo, it felt as if someone was holding her hand and guiding her. This was important to Katia because she wanted to be able to say goodbye to Sergei by doing the thing they had worked so hard on throughout their lives, skating.
While Katia was in the dreamy romance with her husband, she became very oblivious to the world around her. She was always dependent on Sergei to protect and guide her. Katia was afraid to trust people or say things that might hurt them. Also, she was afraid of what people might say about her. "Time I have learned, is a doctor. Skating has been the best medicine for me." (page 289) She felt that God was sending her a message, to open her eyes to the world and experience what it was like not to be so blessed. She is now learning the disappointments of life. Katia has a job of building a new life for Daria and herself. Katia is now reaching out to friends and being more interested in their lives. She is getting to know her parents again, and make up for all the time she was traveling away from home. Finally, she is learning that there are new things in life to discover. As for skating, she has yet to summon the courage to skate alone with only Sergei's spirit to guide her.
This was a very beautiful love story. Ekaterina Gordeeva writes a wonderful and tragically sad story of her parterner and husband. They were a world famous figure skatting couple with an olympic win and many more to go when her husband is struck down in the prime of his life. With a young daughter to raise..she tries to pull her life together.
A wonderful memoir written in tribute to the sudden death of a figure skater's husband. The memoir shares their experiences on the ice as well as their strong love affair. A great read for those that enjoy memoirs.
A beautiful love story about two Russian ice skaters who showed their elegant skills of ice-skating skills to the world; their challenges of obtaining a gold medal in the Olympics. For one the ultimate challenge came when her mate,Sergeii, died. Yet, Ekaerina tells of her strength how she overcomes adversity to continue to skate & raise her daughter. A great read...
In the former Soviet Union, the sports establishment, charged with producing winners for the greater glory of the empire, had almost unlimited power over the athletically gifted. Children as young as five or six were identified, sent to special schools and given rigorous training in the sports in which they were expected to excel. Two such youngsters were Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov, paired as skaters by their teachers when they were 11 and 14, respectively. Throughout their training and into the start of their competitive careers, each thought of the other only as an athletic partner, partly because the four-year difference in their ages meant they had few friends in common. But as time passed and their joint career led to international championships, they fell in love and married. Their success culminated in Olympic gold medals in 1990 and 1994. And then, suddenly, Grinkov died of a heart attack in 1995 at age 28. The story of their love and their happiness together is deeply moving, and the final chapters are heartrending, while the many photos heighten the tale.
What a beautiful tribute to the life of someone we'd never know if it were not for his tragic death. My Sergei is a poignant and heartwarming story of Ekaterina Gordeeva's life and love for her husband Sergei Grinkov
I came across this book at a library sale and thought it may be an interesting read. I'm not the one to read memoirs, but I enjoyed the story very much. I was touched to tears--and I'm not someone who's into the figure skating fan.
Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergi Grinkov were the most celebrated pairs skaters of all time. Partners in life as well as on the ice. Then, tragically, Sergi dies at the age of twenty-eight. Now in her own words, his wife Katia, tells their remarkable story, in this loving tribute to the exceptional man she idolized, whom she called....My Sergi.