Monday, September 12, 2011

Soviet Super Skater

Irina Rodnina and Alexei Ulanov won the Gold at the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo, Japan

Today is the 61st birth day of Russian pairs figure skater Irina Rodnina. She was one of the most dominant skaters in the history of the sport. With three consecutive Olympic Gold Medals, ten World Championships, and eleven European Championships on her record, Rodnina owned the whole decade of the 1970s. Even more impressively, she accomplished this task with two different partners, Alexei Ulanov and Alexander Zaitsev.

To make it even more impressive, she took the 1978-79 season off to have a baby. Then she came back for her final European Championship and her third Olympic Gold Medal at the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, USA. But her most amazing accomplishment was at the 1973 World Championships when the program music stopped midway through the performance. Rodnina and Zaitsev were so focused that they continued the skate in silence with perfect choreography and synchronicity.

Irina Rodnina and Alexander Zaitsev won the Gold at both the 1976 and 1980 Winter Olympics

But these numbers and anecdotes can't fully describe the amazing talents of Irina Rodnina. You need to see the actual performances to get a proper appreciation.

Here are a few vids:

So, here's wishing a Happy Birthday to Irina Rodnina!!!


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