A Fairy Tale With A Tragic Ending:
Katia & Sergei's Story


Katia & Sergei Off-Ice in 1994

Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov were different from all the other pairs skaters. They had their own unique magic on the ice, and their love for each other was obvious to anyone who saw them skate. They began skating when Ekaterina--Katia to her friends--was just 11 and Sergei was 15. Through the years they won many competitions and the hearts of all who watched. They fell in love, married in 1991, and had a baby girl in 1992. They won gold medals in the 1988 and 1984 Olympics. They were living a fairytale.

But all their happiness came to an end when Sergei collapsed during a routine training session. He died at the hospital, leaving behind his young wife and 3-year-old daughter. He was only 28. The skating world was shocked. It was unbelievable that Sergei, who was always so full of life, was gone. And Katia had lost not only her husband, but her partner. Her life, ever since she was 4 years old, was skating. Everything she did was related to skating. But now Sergei was gone, and she had to do what seemed impossible. If she wanted to skate, she would have to do it alone.

And Katia had to skate again, even though she could hardly stand to be on the ice by herself. As she began her career as a singles skater, she touched as many people with her beauty and her courage as she and Sergei had touched with their skating. In February, 1996, Katia made her solo debut, skating for Sergei in a memorial performance, Celebration of a Life.

"It [Celebration Of A Life] was really great because it gave us a sense of purpose.
We would do the show for Katia and Dasha, but it never occured to us [that] Katia would skate.
When she said she would, we were in shock. How could she?
Then it occured to me...of course, she has to"

"I was devastated, seeing her skating alone. It took my breath away.
But she was truly happy, and it made so much sense. We proceeded to make a show which
was very special--and it was all at Katia's request. There wasn't a skater in the world
who didn't want to be there. It was based on what she thought would
make him happy, knowing that he was watching."

"One moment, I'm having to worry about making sure it goes right, working at it.
And the next moment I'm sobbing, with tears running down my face.
It was without a doubt one of the most emotional,
maybe the most emotional night of my entire life."

--Quotes from Sandra Bezic, Stars On Ice choreographer,
and co-choreographer (with Marina Zoueva) of Celebration Of A Life.

"We each want to have a role in remembering Sergei.
We each want to contribute a special moment as a memory to him."
--Paul Wylie on Celebration Of A Life--
Stars On Ice

Since then, Katia has distinguished herself as a professional ladies skater. She has done very well in professional competitions, and starred in several television specials. She continues to win people's hearts as she skates with the prestigious Stars On Ice tour. In 1996, she shared her fairy tale with the world when her best-selling My Sergei: A Love Story was released to rave reviews. It was on the New York Times Best Sellers List for many weeks, even made it to the top. Her second book, A Letter For Daria came out in 1998. In it she shares special childhood memories, and Russian traditions with her daughter.

Katia continues to inspire us all with her courage in the face of adversity. She shows that a person can pass through the fire and come out shattered but smiling. She shows it is possible to go on with your life when you wish there was no tomorrow.

Katia bends to pick up Daria after a heartwarming
performance in "Celebration of a Life"

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