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Ekaterina Gordeeva is a Russian figure skater who, with her late partner and husband Sergei Grinkov, was a two-time Olympian and four-time world champion.
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Everything was too good with me and Sergei for it to end happily."
On February 27, 1996, Gordeeva began her new life as a solo skater in a televised tribute to Grinkov, A Celebration of a Life. Author E.M. Swift in Sports Illustrated described her performance: "Gordeeva exposed her soul with such gentleness and pathos and strength that no one watching could remain unmoved. This was a rarity: sport, art, and tragedy fused into one."
In My Sergei, after her performance, Gordeeva remembered speaking to the audience: "I'm so happy I was able to show you my skating. But I also want you to know that I skated today not alone. I skated with Sergei. It's why I was so good. It wasn't me."
The Gordeeva & Grinkov fairytale has ended. However, Gordeeva continued to not only skate in professional competitions and TV specials like Beauty and the Beast and Snowden on Ice, as well as in the Stars on Ice tour, but she also wrote My Sergei, a memoir of her and Grinkov's life together. In February of 1998, CBS televised an adaptation of this memoir with Gordeeva as narrator. This TV movie showed both the on- and off-ice magic of "G & G" and offered one last look at their fairytale. In May, her second book, A Letter for Daria, was published and the Target department store launched its "Katia" fragrance line.
Gordeeva has become a symbol of grace, strength, and courage not only for ice skating fans, but also for her daughter, Daria. As Gordeeva continues to live this normal life, she offered this advice in My Sergei to everyone, "Try to find happiness in every day. At least once, smile to each other everyday. And say just one extra time that you love the person who lives with you. Just say, 'I love you.'"
Gordeeva has since found new love with fellow skater Ilia Kulik, who won a gold medal at the Nagano Olympics in 1998. The two made the relationship public in 1999. Gordeeva's second child, Elizabeta was born on June 15, 2001 and she and Kulik were married shortly after. Gordeeva continues to skate with the Stars on Ice professional tour.
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