Related Biography: Skater Sergei Grinkov
Born in Moscow on February 4, 1967, Sergei Grinkov was the son of Anna and Mikhail Grinkov, both officers in the Soviet Interior Ministry police. When he was five years old, his parents saw an advertisement in the paper saying that the Soviet Union was looking for its next group of Olympic champions, and they brought him to the Central Army skating rink for a free lesson. Grinkov was not an immediate sensation; his performance was uneven. However, he loved skating and preferred physical training to academic studies.
When he was fourteen, his coach, Stanislav Zhuk, suggested that he become a pairs skater. Grinkov was matched with the eleven-year-old Ekaterina Gordeeva, and initially told his coach, according to William Plummer in People, "I could never lift this girl!"
However, in time the two skaters developed a deep rapport, and won their first world title in 1986. In 1988 they won a gold medal at the Calgary Olympics, and won another gold at the Lillehammer Olympics in 1994. They had been married in 1991 and had a daughter, Daria, and their new maturity gave depth and passion to their performance. Audiences were mesmerized both by their artistic and technical skill and by the obvious passion and romance between the two.
Their partnership ended tragically when Grinkov died suddenly on November 20, 1995, while training for a Stars on Ice show in Lake Placid, New York. Gordeeva took his body back to Russia, and he was buried in Moscow's Vaganskovskoye Cemetery.
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