Ekaterina Gordeeva

“Sometimes it bothers me that people now only
recognize me because of tragedy. But I’ve come
to understand that people really care and worry for me.
I feel I should say to every person I meet,
‘I’m fine. Daria’s fine. Life goes on.’ ”
–Ekaterina Gordeeva–


During the 1980’s and 90’s, Ekaterina Gordeeva (affectionately known to her fans as Katia) and her partner/husband Sergei Grinkov achieved a level of excellence and artistry unrivaled by anyone in figure skating and their love was the stuff of fairytales. Paired together when Katia was about 11 and Sergei,15, they rose like a rocket through the ranks of pairs figure skating and won their first world championship just a few years later. By the time Katia was 16, they were Olympic Gold Medalists. Ultimately they would hold 4 world championship titles and 2 Olympic gold medals, all achieved while they were still in their early and mid twenties. They became one of the most popular and beloved  pair teams in figure skating history and still top fan polls for the best pair skaters nearly 11 years after the end of their skating career together. Renowned for their elegance, artistry, amazing lines, and perfect unison on the ice; it was the romance and love that they shared which made their skating so sublime and captured the hearts of the world. Skating fans fell in love with them as they watched G&G fall in love with eachother. Each performance was like a glimpse into their private inner world. It was often said that their hearts beat as one. Anyone that ever had the priveledge to see them skate knew this to be true. The couple married in 1991 and had a beautiful daughter, Daria Grinkova, in 1992. The world was shocked and saddened by the loss of 28 year old Sergei when he died of a heart attack during skating practice in 1995. G&G was no more and 24 year old Katia had to go on without her beloved husband and partner. Unable to imagine skating with anyone other than Sergei, she chose to build a new career for herself as a singles skater. During the past decade on her own she’s brought the artistry she was known for as a pairs skater to her new solo career and has continued to be one of the most popular professional skaters. She’s become an icon to people all over the world for the grace, dignity, and strength she displayed in handling the tragic loss of her husband and partner. In 2000 Katia showed the world that true love can come twice in a lifetime when she fell in love with 1998 Olympic Men’s Champion Ilia Kulik and a year later had their daughter, Elizaveta Kulik. The couple married in 2002. Marriage and family life has made touring in large skating shows less appealing to Katia in recent years but Katia has continued a successful solo career and has even shared the ice on several occassions with her daughters Daria & Liza as well as her current husband Ilia. It’s a wonderful treat for skating fans to again see Katia shining with love and contentment.

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My poetry inspired by Katia and G&G

A Golden Dream: Gordeeva and Grinkov

Gliding smoothly across slick, silver ice
Two elegant athletes skate as one.
Their hearts in unison,
United by love.

A strong, stoic man
A graceful, glowing girl
Gliding forever
Magical, transcendent, romantic, pure.

Lovers lost in golden dreams
Artists carving a beautiful legacy
In sheets of ice.
A fairytale frozen in time.

Ekaterina

You lived a fairytale life
Filled with love and beauty
An enchanted maiden with a handsome knight
Forever by your side
Until one tragic moment ripped away your illusions
And the fairytale was gone.
You faced the world alone for the first time.
No longer sheltered in loving arms.
The world saw your agony and grieved with you.

Lost in sorrow, you chose to persevere
Bravely stepping forward through your shattered dreams
You began again.
Tentatively at first, with shadowed eyes and a wavering smile.
Your spirit battered but never broken,
You rose like a phoenix from the ashes to rebuild your life.

Eyes open to the world
You learn to stand alone in the spotlight
Always evolving with elegant grace
You’ve become a woman of strenght and compassion
Triumphing over life’s greatests challenges
You’ve learned to grasp each day and live fully.
Always cherishing the past, yet embracing the future.
You open your heart to new dreams and new love.
Now the world sees your joy and celebrates with you.

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Quotes by Ekaterina Gordeeva

“The message I will try to send to the people will be that this is not a story about myself, but about everyone. For all people who have had their period of time in their life that they went through that was very difficult, when they lost somebody or lost themselves and they have to start over.” Katia talking about her Mahler program in Celebration of a life. (quote taken from book Ekaterina Gordeeva by Anne Hill)

“People must find ways to believe in themselves. To find something to live for. When everything feels broke inside, you have to get up from your knees and ask God for some help. You can have a life now.” (from the book Ekaterina Gordeeva by Anne Hill)

“The sun comes out every morning. You have to go on. Life is great thing. You have to appreciate it now…because you never know what is going to happen tomorrow.” Katia, tv interview

“If you have difficulties in your life, you should carry on smiling anyway. Everyone has bad times, which they should try to pass off with a smile.” (Katia Gordeeva, solo flight)

“For me, a new life is coming. A different life from that which I knew…. In my grief, I feared I had lost myself. To find myself again. I did the only thing I could think of, the thing I knew best, the thing I’d been trained to do since I was four years old. I skated.” Prologue of My Sergei, a love story.

“I don’t have enough words, but I want to wish to all of you: Try to find happiness in every day. At least once, smile to each other every day. And say just one extra time that you love the person who lives with you. Just say ‘I love you’. It’s so Great. So important.” Katia’s speech at Celebration of a Life

“Time I have learned is a doctor. I’m finding that the good days increasingly out number the bad ones. My smiles come more naturally. My longing, while it remains, is less acute. It will always remain, but it’s a room inside of me that I no longer feel compelled to visit.” Epilogue of My Sergei, a love story.

“I’m proud to be a Russian and to have the heritage and the history my country has given me. I hope the Russian style will stay in my skating and I’m glad that American audiences appreciate the Russian art.” (from book Katia Gordeeva, Solo Flight

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7 Responses to Ekaterina Gordeeva

  1. danilie d. howe says:

    OUT OF LOVE WE CAME TO LOVE WE GO
    LOVE IS THE WAY THROUGH ALL LIFE AND HOME TO GOD

  2. Thanks for this beautiful page. She’s an inspiring woman, still touring with Stars on Ice at age 40 and in fantastic shape.

  3. I eas enchanted with the lovely story….Sadness yes but happiness overcame tears….Beautiful and warm story…….Nunzio Iacampo NYC

  4. Susan Jackson says:

    I am pleased that she has been able to find love again with Ilia Kulik and together they also have a daughter making for a beautiful family of four.

  5. brenna loudoun says:

    sooo good to know you are happy in life, and watching your skating always brings us such pleasure…..

  6. nseth mi nseeth felicite says:

    je suis contente de constater qu’Ilia et Katia s’aiment toujours

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