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Figure Skating – 1986 – CBS Sports Special – A History Of Soviet Domination Of The Pair Competition

Belousova and Protopopov’s first major international gold medal came at the 1964 Winter Olympics.  It was the first Olympic pairs gold for the Soviet Union. The Protopopov began the forty-year Soviet/Russian gold medal streak in pair skating….which is the longest in Olympic sports history….in a streak that ran from 1964 to 2006….and included such USSR pair champions as Ekaterina Gordeeva + Sergei Grinkov….Irina Rodnina + Alexandre Zaitsev….Natalia Mishkytenok + Artur Dmitriev….Elena Bereshnaya + Anton Sikharulidze…..Tatiana Totmianina + Maxim Marinin…..and Elana Valova + Oleg Vasiliev…..but The Protopopov had the most influence of them all… they affected their sport more than any other Soviet pair. You can almost hear Dick Button behind the mike for the call of The Protopopov of the USSR team skating at the World Figure Skating Championships back in 1961.

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