MY TOP 11 SKATERS - Pairs
1. Ekaterina Gordeeva & Sergei Grinkov
This is difficult because pair skating is, maybe, my less favourite discipline in figure skating, but one of the cause is the fact that G&G were the first pair I actually saw - who could now beat them?
If Savchenko and Szolkowy are Lady Gaga (I’m sorry Johnny) and Ina and Zimmerman are the Stones, well… G&G are Mozart. In spite of their difficult programs, they were so elegant that sometimes they resembled an ice dance team. They were complementary, fluid, smooth, fast and totally effortless: have you ever noticed their skating skills in their first Olympic gold, the 1988 long program? They’re not making any noise with the blades on the ice! Plus, they’re the most beautiful creatures I’ve ever seen, with or without skates.
The story is a fairytale: two kids skating together, he’s been in love with her forever and eventually, on a New Year’s Eve, he kisses her and she’s in love too with that big guy with an even bigger heart. They get married and have the cutest child, and manage to get back and win their second Olympic gold with a mesmerizing program where their lifts have even improved.
In the meantime, they win basically every championship they enter in, amateur or pro, and you can always feel their love while they’re skating, in the way he looks at her and in Katia’s smile of pure joy even during the most tricky elements.
Then, in 1995, they’re practicing for Champions on ice; Sergei feels a bit dizzy, puts Katia down on the ice and dies.
A year later, during a show in Sergei’s memory, she skates alone for the first time (yes, you do know that music and yes, Virtue and Moir paid homage to them with some moves in their Mahler’s routine in Vancouver). It is the most heartbreaking, harrowing and deeply beautiful performance I’ve seen in my entire life.
2. Kyoko Ina and John Zimmerman
3. Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo
4. Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze
5. Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov
6. Qing Pang and Jian Tong
7. Hao Zhang and Dan Zhang
8. Tatiana Totmianina and Maxim Marinin
9. Jamie Sale and David Pelletier
10. Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy
11. Jessica Dubé and Bryce Davison