Profile: Ekaterina Gordeeva & Sergei Grinkov

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Maofan7, May 13, 2013.

Who deserved to win the 1994 Olympic Gold Medal: G&G or M&D?

Poll closed Jun 13, 2013.
  1. Gordeeva & Grinkov

    51 vote(s)
    64.6%
  2. Mishkutenok & Dmitriev

    27 vote(s)
    34.2%
  3. Don't Know

    1 vote(s)
    1.3%
  1. Maofan7

    Maofan7 Back Approx Sept 2015 (Work Commitments)

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    This profile takes a look back at Gordeeva & Grinkov's competitive career (1983-90, with a brief comeback for the 1993/94 season)

    Ekaterina Gordeeva (known as "Katia") was born on the 28th May 1971 in Moscow. She started skating at the age of 4 when she was admitted to the Children and Youth Sports School at CSKA Moscow.

    Sergei Grinkov was born on the 4th February 1967 in Moscow. He started skating at the age of 5 when he was admitted to the Children and Youth Sports School at CSKA Moscow

    As neither Gordeeva nor Grinkov were deemed strong enough singles skaters, their coach, Vladimir Zaharov, decided to turn them into a new pairs team in August 1981. Nevertheless, Sergei Grinkov was in the habit of missing practice. Fed up with this, their coach decided that Gordeeva should pair up with another skater. However, she refused and ultimately Gordeeva and Grinkov changed their coach instead.

    1983/84

    At the junior World Championships, G&G finished 5th (winners: Manuela Landgraf & Ingo Steuer)

    Junior World Championships - Short Program

    1984/85

    Gordeeva & Grinkov began the season by finishing 6th in the Soviet Championships. They then competed at the Junior Worlds again, this time winning.

    Junior World Championships - Free Skate

    1985/86

    SP = Temptation Rag, LP = Caravans/Send in the Clowns

    G&G moved up to become full time seniors. Stanislav Zhuk also become their new coach. However, the coaching change brought problems. According to this article, "Stanislav Zhuk....pushed Gordeeva & Grinkov too hard, overtraining them." Despite this, however, they won their first senior competition, Skate Canada (Second: Veronica Pershina & Marat Akbarov).

    Skate Canada - SP, Skate Canada - LP

    After finishing 2nd in the Soviet Championships to Elena Valova & Oleg Vasiliev, they finished 2nd to them again at the European Championships

    1986 European Championships - LP

    Nevertheless, G&G turned the tables on V&V at the World Championships by winning the World title for the first time (Second: V&V)

    1986 World Championships - LP

    1986/87

    SP = Jazz medley, LP = Caravans

    In her book, My Sergei, Goordeeva states that G&G reviewed the previous season and determined that: "We just proceeded from element to element without feeling, intent only on not making mistakes.". Hence, accordingly to this article: "After petitioning the Central Red Army Skating Club to remove Zhuk as their coach, Gordeeva & Grinkov took up with a new coach, Stanislav Leonovich."

    In their first competition of the new season, G&G finished 2nd at Skate Canada (First: Cynthia Coull & Mark Rowsom). They led after the short program, but a fall by Katia on a SBS 2A and on a throw jump, plus her singling out on the 2A part of a combination and a further fall, in a disastrous LP, dropped them down to 2nd overall.

    Skate Canada - SP, Skate Canada - LP

    After winning the Soviet championships (second: Larisa Selezneva & Oleg Makarov), G&G then competed at the European Championships. However, they were disqualified from the event for failing to stop during their LP after the referee had blown his whistle and stopped their music. G&G thought the cassette playing their music had simply broken and had not heard the whistle. Hence, they did not stop. The referee had done that, as a strap holding down Grinkov's pant leg had come undone and there was a fear that it could trip them up and cause serious injury.

    Short Program, Long Program

    Nevertheless, Gordeeva & Grinkov next retained their World title. In winning the title, they landed a quadruple twist lift. Although, the quadruple twist life had first been performed by Marina Cherkasova and Sergei Shakrai in the late 1970's, G&G remain one of the few pairs to have successfully executed it, which they did with ease in these championships.

    Short Program, Long Program

    1987/88

    SP = Les Toreadores & La garde montante from Carmen, LP = Symphony No. 4 by Felix Mendelssohn, Concerto No.2, Etude No.12 "Revolutionary", Concerto No.1 by Frédéric Chopin, and Overture from The Marriage of Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    In November 1987, Grinkov accidentally dropped Gordeeva on her forehead during practice, after having caught a blade on the ice. This led to her being hospitalized for a short period. Hence, G&G missed the entirety of the first half of the season.

    Nevertheless, on their return, G&G won the European Championships (second: Larisa Selezneva & Oleg Makarov).

    Long Program

    Next, Gordeeva & Grinkov won the Olympic title, beating Valova & Vasiliev into 2nd Place.

    Short Program, Long Program, Exhibition

    Following the Olympics, G&G competed at the World Championships, where they finished 2nd to Valova & Vasiliev. Gordeeva was ill with the flu during the championships. Nevertheless, they managed to lead entering the LP. However, during the FS, Ekaterina fell on a throw triple salchow, which allowed Valova & Vasiliev to overtake them and take the title

    Short Program, Long Program

    1988/89

    SP = The Barber of Seville, LP = Die Fledermaus

    G&G were unable to compete during the season, apart from at the World Championships, as Ekaterina was diagnosed as having a stress fracture in her right foot before their season had even begun. Nevertheless, they went on to win the world title.

    Short Program, Free Skate, Exhibition

    1989/90

    SP = Mambo No.5/Mambo Jambo by Perez Prado, LP = Romeo and Juliet

    G&G decided to make the 1989/90 their last as amateurs.

    G&G began the season by winning at the NHK Trophy (second: Larisa Selezneva & Oleg Makarov)

    Long Program

    G&G followed this up by winning the European Championships (second: Larisa Selezneva & Oleg Makarov). By this time, Gordeeva was having problems with her jumps due to body changes. They were 3rd entering the free skate due to a poor SP, but a better LP enabled them to take the title.

    Long Program

    G&G then won their 4th world title (second: Isabelle Brasseur & Lloyd Eisler). Although their Romeo & Juliet (Tchaikovsky) LP was not clean, they did enough to retain their world title.

    Short Program, Long Program, Exhibition, Medal Ceremony

    G&G's final competition before retiring was the Goodwill Games, which they won (second: Natalia Mishkutenok & Artur Dmitriev).

    Short Program, Long Program

    1993–94

    SP = Zapateado, Farrucas by Pepe Romero, LP = Piano Sonata No. 8 "Pathétique", Piano Sonata No. 14 "Moonlight" by Ludwig van Beethoven

    G&G made a comeback for the 1993/94 season in order to compete at the 1994 Olympics

    They began the season by competing at Skate Canada, which they won (second: Radka Kovaříková & René Novotný)

    Short Program, Long Program

    After becoming Russian National champions, G&G went on to win the European title for the 3rd time (Evgenia Shishkova & Vadim Naumov)

    Short Program, Long Program

    G&G next won the Olympic title for the second time, beating Natalia Mishkutenok & Artur Dmitriev into 2nd place.

    Short Program, Long Program, Exhibition
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2013
  2. Maofan7

    Maofan7 Back Approx Sept 2015 (Work Commitments)

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  3. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    Well Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia seemed to share the same opinion ... that G/G were the best in both phases :p

    I think G/G were Chantastic while M/D were D10 of the night.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2013
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  4. lala

    lala Well-Known Member

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    I was happy when G/G won, but I knew D/M sould have won...
     
  5. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    I thought Miskutienok & Dmitriev should have won as their performance was truly inspired and flawless, while G&G had numerous small but visible mistakes which should have been costly on that night. However I can still accept the result either way, and am not upset per say about G&G winning. What did upset me was how M&D were marked, especialy such unfavorable artistic marks for a creative and wonderfully delivered number, and that they were actually closer to losing to Brasseur & Eisler (2 judges had B&E who two footed a throw, and arguably should have lost the bronze to S&N, over M&D) than they were to beating G&G (only 1 judge had them over G&G) which was quite absurd.
     
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  6. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

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    That's the most amazing thing about Figure Skating. When you watch M&D, you think they are so good, they could have won.
    And when you watch G&G, it's another story. They are perfect in every way. The small mistakes are nothing compared to their speed, unisson, lightness. And they are so more polished than M&D.
    In fact, both could have won, it's the same as 1996 Worlds Kwan vs Chen or 1998 Olys Kwan vs Lipinski.
    But there, 1994 Olys G&G vs M&D, I'm so happy with the result !
     
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  7. Maofan7

    Maofan7 Back Approx Sept 2015 (Work Commitments)

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  8. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    I though M/D's program was frenzied and unpolished and that it was a disaster to put her in dark tights, which accentuated her lack of stretch and line, especially as they'd be compared to G/G's. Mishketienok looked far better in the pale tights she wore in the "Liebestraum" that won titles for M/D. G/G also performed more elements.
     
  9. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Julia, Elena, Anna, Liza, and Vera

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    Sorry, but I disagree. The black costumes suited their program very well. Natalia had a very good stretch, although she did not have a thin body like Katia's. Liebestraum is a classic, but it does not mean their Rach program was not good. It was more difficult and well performed compared to their 1992 Oly LP. They skated with authority and passion, and there was no lack of polish in it. It was just a different style from G&G.
     
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  10. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    I don't have a problem with M/D's style in general. I think they had better performances than at 1994 Olympics, and their costumes in other programs did not accentuate her form weaknesses.
     
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  11. Minou

    Minou Member

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    Dick Button and Toller Cranston, among others, both complimented MD's line and Natalia's posture frequently and early in their competitive career.

    At the end too:

    "This is what skating is all about." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlfAcHvCLvM
     
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  12. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Julia, Elena, Anna, Liza, and Vera

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    Which of their performances was better than 1994 Olympics? The only one I can think of is 1991 worlds, but even that may not have had the level of confidence they did in 1994. Natalia did not have form weaknesses; she simply had a different body type. As Scott said (funny that I am quoting him)- it's apples and oranges. No need to make what you don't like sound 'bad'
     
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  13. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Julia, Elena, Anna, Liza, and Vera

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    I remember reading that article back then. I was fairly new to pairs skating in particular at that time, but watching G&G got me hooked and I have been a fan of Russian pairs skating since then (even though pairs skating has changed quite a bit due to COP).
     
  14. canbelto

    canbelto Well-Known Member

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    I admit by 1994 I was kind of turned off by G&G. For one, they were relentlessly promoted as the perfect couple with the cute daughter, and M&D were the dysfunctional pair. I felt so bad for Natalia in those fluff pieces where they not only talked about her weight, Artur even said he'd find a new partner and she broke down and cried. I really admired Natalia for skating as if she were on fire in Lillehammer, especially when her own partner and coach were making comments like that in interviews. Plus, I'll get killed for saying this but I never liked the Moonlight Sonata program.

    Now looking back that was the best pairs competition that ever was, and I can appreciate both pairs although I still liked M&D more. I also find it ironic that all these years later, Natalia M. is still thin and beautiful, while Artur has NOT kept in shape.
     
  15. sadya

    sadya Active Member

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    It's allright, canbelto, a lot of people don't like Moonlight Sonata program inlcuding some G&G fans one of whom said it was "too sad" for her taste. I like it though, it's one of my favourite programs and personally I don't see sadness but life in peace and love with no turmoils. To each his or her own. :)

    And yes, those Mishkuntenok comments were actually shocking to me too, coming from her own team even. I thought they'd help her build her confidence again and making comments like that, how helpful would that have been? They could have chosen different words and some things were unnecessary. I like both skating G&G and M/D and also enjoyed Kazakova/Dmtiriev. Amazing skating, all of it.
     
  16. canbelto

    canbelto Well-Known Member

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    I didn't find it "sad" I just thought it was kind of a retread of their other amateur LP's, and not that interesting of a program. M&D's program on the other hand was very different from their previous programs and I liked the innovation, especially the footwork sequences. Looking back now I can appreciate G&G's classical style a lot more.

    Also the Olympics were weird in that G&G made some noticeable mistakes in both the SP & LP and the commentators didn't seem to notice, but just talked about how "textbook" they were. I loved that Natalia proved everyone wrong by skating back to back clean programs.
     
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  17. sadya

    sadya Active Member

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    If I remember well, I think they called the G&G mistakes in Lillehamer minor mistakes, perhaps because there wasn't a fall. I think there was a stumble on a landing and singling a jump, and issues going in spins not being in sync but by the time they went out of the spins, they were spinning in sync again. I haven't watched those programs in a long time and would have to look for them again. In my mind they've become a blur with the Europeans version.

    I was fine with who ever of these teams won the Olympics. I do understand why a lot of people thought M/D should have won.
     
  18. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Artur Dmitriev and Sergei Grinkov were reportedly very close.
    Looking back at what came to pass, I don't think that he would change the result.
     
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  19. Maofan7

    Maofan7 Back Approx Sept 2015 (Work Commitments)

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  20. clairecloutier

    clairecloutier Well-Known Member

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    G/G's mistakes were indeed very minor. Especially under 6.0, mistakes like that cost you very little. The important thing back then was just landing the main elements. The mistakes they had would probably cost a little more under IJS, yet at the same time, they would receive more GOE than M/D for the better quality of their big elements. So the result probably would've been the same under IJS.
     
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  21. gk_891

    gk_891 Well-Known Member

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    I found pairs like V/V and M/D more interesting to watch from an artistic pov but looking back, I have a much better appreciation for G&G now then I did back then. They had absolutely effortless speed with minimal stroking (and what little stroking they did have was very smooth and silent). They also had absurdly good flow and carriage, beautiful line and posture, and amazing unison.

    I can understand why G&G won Lillehammer but as judgejudy27 mentioned, the scores should've been closer. At the time, I was very much convinced that M&D should've won but G&G did have a superior twist, more difficult side by side spins (even though they did have a unison problem at the end of it - I still give them more credit for it when you consider how simple M&D's side by side spins were), far better lifts, much bigger throws, and their speed across the ice was effortless and smooth whereas with M&D you could really hear them digging and scratching across the ice. I also found Natalia's solo double axel questionable in terms of whether she two-footed it or not (something she had a tendency to do). But if it was too close to tell, she should get the benefit of the doubt.

    Artistcially G&G were kind of run of the mill for me as amateurs except for their long program in 1990 and 1994. Both had a quiet and understated beauty that I've come to appreciate over time.
     
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  22. Maofan7

    Maofan7 Back Approx Sept 2015 (Work Commitments)

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  23. Xela M

    Xela M Well-Known Member

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    Ahhh, the best pairs competition of all time!!! I think either of the top 4 skates would have won Gold at the next 2 Olympics. It was crazy quality and everyone seemed to skate their absolute best.

    M&D's free dance is my favourite pairs programme of all time (just beating their 1992 Liebestraum). I could watch it over and over again and never get tired of it. They were spectacular, wild, uninhibited. Her reserved strength and beauty a perfect match for his intense, masculine passion. They commanded the ice and skated like champions.

    Prior to Lillehammer everyone thought M&D were finished. The fluff pieces about them and interviews with Tamara and Artur make for some uncomfortable viewing. You can almost see Natalia break and slide into depression. Their pro career was awful and everyone looked at Natalia with pity, as she seemed to have lost all her confidence and clearly gained weight. Their return to amateur skating wasn't much better and even in practice in Lillehammer, Natalia couldn't land a jump and Artur couldn't lift her. As much as I love M&D's free skate, their short programme actually brings a tear to my eye because they went out there and showed everyone what real champions are made of! It came out of nowhere, but when it really mattered they were phenomenal. Natalia showed such strength of character that I still don't understand how she did it. She went onto the Olympic ice and shut everyone up with a vengeance.

    G&G were perfect skaters and had the ability to perform much higher quality elements than M&D, but they were clearly nervous (especially Sergei) and made silly mistakes. M&D were better on the night and should have won Gold. I believe Katia wrote in her book how it hurt her that the audience in Lillehammer made it clear that they preferred M&D and that Sergei wanted to return for the 1998 Olympics because he was unhappy with the way he had skated.

    I am not unhappy G&G won though and M&D's reaction should be studied by all skaters as a lesson on how to lose graciously. They were clearly undermarked and had every reason to complain and cry "politics", but they accepted the result with such elegance that it can feature on the front page of any textbook on good sportsmanship.
     
  24. Maofan7

    Maofan7 Back Approx Sept 2015 (Work Commitments)

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  25. bwayrose7

    bwayrose7 Member

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    I'm no technical expert, I just know who I "liked" the best. And for me, G&G were the very first skaters I remember getting attached to as a very little girl. I wasn't old enough to remember the 1994 Olympics, but I can remember the tributes and replays in the following year or two, and to this day they are still my favorite pairs team (granted, I don't follow pairs as much as I do other disciplines). Very elegant, not showy per se but understated and graceful.
     
  26. nguyhm

    nguyhm Active Member

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    There is no doubt that G&G were the perfect (technical) pair, their moves and lines were purely "textbook". However G&G did not exude the carefree spirits that M&D were famous for. G&G amateur programs were more "calculated", they were executed perfectly but not "passionately"...., with the exception of "Reverie", which was their professional/exhibition program and it was my favorite. They totally "lost themselves" in this program and it was breathtaking, the two skating as one. This program effected me the way M&D and B&S programs did, pure magic.... G&G were not my favorite pair but no one can deny that they were the best. I appreciate their talents and the legendary footprints that they left, no other pair has been able to fill in their shoes (in this case skates).
     
  27. GlimpseOfEuphoria

    GlimpseOfEuphoria Banned Member

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    See how the "perfect in every way" was immediately followed by "the small mistakes are nothing" just in the next sentence? Gotta love blind sycophancy.
     
  28. DreamSkates

    DreamSkates Well-Known Member

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    I knew practically nothing about skating then, but remember their program moved me. So I was fine with them winning the gold medal.