Meet Ekaterina Gordeeva. She is a World and Olympic Ice Skating champion who is one of many stars skating in the ‘Skate for the Heart’ event. Read her biography below, see photos, and watch a video.
World and Olympic Ice Skating Champion Ekaterina Gordeeva participated along with other ice skating champions Jeffrey Buttle, Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker in the ‘Skate for the Heart’ event in honor of American Heart Month. The event provides awareness for the prevention of heart disease.
Ekaterina Alexandrovna Gordeeva was born on May 28, 1971 in Moscow, Soviet Union (now Russia) so her age is 38. Called ‘Katia,’ she is a Russian (former Soviet) pair skater. Together with her late partner and husband Sergei Grinkov, she was the 1988 and 1994 Olympic Champion. Today she skates as a professional ice skater along with her second husband World and Olympic Champion Ilia Kulik.
She’s always been known as a darling on the ice. Katia began skating at the age of four, in skates many sizes too big, wearing multiple pairs of socks because skates small enough for her feet were unavailable in the Soviet Union. Her father wanted her to be a ballerina, but she wanted to skate.
She was not a particularly strong jumper, and in August 1981, her coach paired 10-year-old Gordeeva with 14-year-old Sergei Grinkov who would later become her husband and the love of her life.
Gordeeva and Grinkov won almost every competition they entered. They won the 1985 World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The following year they won the first of their four World Figure Skating Championships. They successfully defended their World title in 1987 and then won gold at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
After a fall in their long program, they took silver at the World Championships in 1988, but reclaimed the title in 1989 and 1990. They turned professional in the fall 1990, winning their first World Professional Championship in 1991. They also won that title in 1992 and 1994. In the 31 competitions at the senior and professional levels, they finished first 24 times, and never lower than second.
They married in 1991 and had their daughter Daria in 1992. They returned to the ice to skate the Olympics again in 1994, and won their second Olympic gold medal in Lillehammer, Norway. During the 1994-95 season, they toured with Stars on Ice, this time as headliners. That year, Gordeeva was named one of the ’50 Most Beautiful People’ by People Magazine. That summer, Gordeeva and Grinkov were chosen for induction into the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame and the pair planned to return to Stars on Ice for their fourth season with the tour.
On November 20, 1995, Grinkov collapsed on the ice and died at age 28 from a massive heart attack. The pair were on the ice in Lake Placid, New York rehearsing for opening night of the upcoming tour. Doctors later discovered that Grinkov had a congenital heart condition which caused his death.
For a number of years after Sergei’s death, Katia skated solo as a tribute to her late husband. In 1998 Katia told her story in a book titled ‘My Sergei : A Love Story.’ In February 1998, CBS aired a docudrama based on the book. She published a second book in April, 1998, titled ‘A Letter for Daria’ a letter for her daughter with Sergei, Daria Grinkova.
In 2000, Katia began dating fellow Russian skater Ilia Kulik. On June 15, 2001, Gordeeva gave birth to her second daughter, Elizaveta Ilinichna Kulik. Gordeeva and Kulik married in a private ceremony in San Francisco on June 10, 2002.
Katia has done many product endorsements like Rolex, ‘Got Milk?’ and Target. She has even posed in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition 2003.
Katia, Ilia Kulik, and her daughters currently reside in Newport Beach, California.
Ekaterina Gordeeva Video