In this video, American men’s figure skating legend, Scott Hamilton, joins CBS Sports Tim Ryan in a video explanation of the Soviet dominance in international world figure skating competition….especially in the 1970’s and 1980’s….of which we at ImaSportsphile have a goodly share of figure skating videos featuring really outstanding Russian pairs like Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov…..along with Irina Rodnina and Alexander Zaitsev….which we consider to be “nuggets of gold” in our treasure chest of vintage memories.
The Russian skaters Ekaterina Gordeeva (b. 1971) and her partner and husband, Sergei Grinkov (1965–1995) began skating together in 1981 when she was 11 and he was 14; they married ten years later. They won four World Figure Skating Championship gold medals between 1985 and 1990 and took gold at the Winter Olympics in 1988 and 1994. They began touring with “Stars on Ice” in the early 1990s. On November 20, 1995, while practicing for the upcoming “Stars on Ice” tour, Grinkov collapsed and died of a massive heart attack. Gordeeva continued to skate as a single.
Irina Rodnina (born 1949) is the only pair skater who has won ten successive world figure skating titles and three successive Olympic figure skating gold medals. Her career in gold medals spanned a whopping 12 years, from her 1969 European Championship with Alexei Ulanov to 1980’s Lake Placid Winter Olympics, paired with her husband Alexander Zaitsev. Rodina also won eleven European figure skating pairs championships and is considered the most successful pair skater in history.