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The most terrible tragedies in the world of figure skating

The absurd death of the 25-year-old titled figure skater Denis Ten showed that youth and fame cannot protect even the darlings of the whole world from premature departure.

There is no more beautiful sport than figure skating. Even during official competitions, costumes and music delight the eyes and soul of the audience, and demonstration performances are real performances. The word “tragedy” is incompatible with this holiday of life. Nevertheless, they occur with these seemingly favorites of fortune.

In front of an amazed audience

Perhaps, it is in figure skating that athletes, right before the eyes of the audience, most often receive injuries, which shock the entire audience. Tatyana Totmyanina fell from support at the 2004 international tournament, lost consciousness. But two years later, together with Maxim Marinin, she managed to win the Olympics in the glory of Russia.

Tatyana Totmyanina
Tatyana Totmyanina fell from support at the 2004 international tournament
Just at this Olympics, the Chinese woman Zhang Dan fell after being thrown onto the ice and could not rise. But the judges gave the girl time, and in front of the amazed spectators, the Chinese skated the program and even won silver.

In training, the famous Irina Rodnina and Elena Berezhnaya received terrible injuries. Each of them had a difficult relationship with a partner and men were suspected that the fatal falls were due to their fault. But then, already with other partners, the girls won the main Olympic titles.
However, stories do not always end so beautifully. EG.RU recalls the most high-profile tragedies that occurred in the festive world of figure skating.

1961: US team
On February 15, 1961, a Boeing 707 crashed near Brussels. He fell on the field, killing a farmer. The crash killed everyone, including 62 passengers, 34 of whom represented the US delegation flying to the World Figure Skating Championships. They did not reach Prague, where they were supposed to fly after the capital of Belgium.

The victims of the disaster, including the famous American skater and coach, Olympic medalist Marybell Winson-Owen and her two daughters, performing in doubles and single skating.

The world championship in Prague after this terrible event was canceled.

1986: Lyudmila Pakhomova
Lyudmila Pakhomova was not just loved, she was adored and idolized. She was an outstanding athlete. Mila was once called mediocrity, but she spontaneously fashioned herself for everyone, pulled along with her partner and wife Alexander Gorshkov. And only thanks to them and their coach Elena Tchaikovsky, ice dancing, which had not been considered a sport for a long time, was included in the Olympic program. And Mila and Sasha were the first Olympic champions in this form.

pakhomov and pots
Skaters Lyudmila Pakhomova and Alexander Gorshkov. Photo by V. Nikolayev and Yuri Zhiltukhin / TASS Photo Chronicle /
They left the sport. Daughter Julia was born, Pakhomova began to train, and very successfully. And then she began to feel bad. When finally diagnosed, it turned out to be lymph node cancer. Doctors urged Pakhomov not to stand on the ice during training, not to be nervous, but decisive Mila said that she did not need a “vegetable” life, and did what she considered necessary. She was dazzling almost until the last days, even when she had to hide the effects of treatment with wigs.

Pakhomova did not even live to see 40, having passed away on May 17, 1986.

1995: Sergey Grinkov
The couple Ekaterina Gordeeva – Sergey Grinkov was loved by the people, perhaps no less than Pakhomova and Gorshkov. Little charming Katya and a real hero Sergey. Although, when they joined in a couple, Grinkov wanted to immediately escape from the 11-year-old pigman.

gordeeva and grinkov
Russia. December 26, 1993 Russian Figure Skating Championship. The winners in the competition of couples are Muscovites Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergey Grinkov. Source: Vyacheslav Evdokimov / TASS Newsreel
Then several years passed, the girl grew up, became a real beauty. The guys fell in love and got married, although the wedding, as if fate had warned, was constantly under threat. Serezha’s father died, then he himself was almost late for the celebration, getting from the States.

The day after the wedding, a bird hit the window. But who believes in signs in his youth! The couple became two-time Olympic champions in pair skating, they had a daughter, they had wild popularity in the world, and this was reflected in the sums of their contracts. Everything was ahead …

On November 20, 1995, at a training in Lake Placid, Grinkov unexpectedly sank onto the ice with the words “I feel very bad …”. An hour later he died, his skates didn’t even really remove him. It turned out that this 28-year-old Viking suffered a massive heart attack.

2001: Kira Ivanova
Soviet women’s figure skating has long been considered a disgrace to the country. And only the appearance of Elena Vodorezova warmed the hearts of fans. But Lena paid a dear price for her early successes; the joint disease made her leave.
An example was contagious. And in 1984, for the first time, a Soviet athlete took bronze at the Olympic Games. It was 21-year-old Kira Ivanova.

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