Figure skating fans will recall the shocking death of pairs' gold medalist Sergei Grinkov on 20 November 1995. In this poignant memoir, his partner and widow, Ekaterina Gordeeva, shares the story of their lives together as skaters, husband and wife, and as parents.
Gordeeva and Grinkov - G&G - were perhaps the greatest pairs skaters of all time. Thoroughout their career, they touched the hearts of millions, bringing an elegance and perfection to ice that the sport has never seen before - or since.
Through this joyous look back at their career and lives, Katia shares their story, from humble beginnings as athletes in the Soviet sports machine to their triumphant Olympic gold medal wins in 1988 and 1994. She offers a rare insider's glimpse into the recently-scandalous world of Olympic skating and the preparation that goes into every performance.
Despite its tragic ending, the book is uplifting to read, which is one of the reasons that I have dog-eared my copy many times over. Katia's gentle, yet simple storytelling is both heart-wrenching and funny, especially her stories about their lives in America as recent immigrants to a world so different from the one they were raised in. Throughout, she fondly remembers the various competitions, routines, and holidays that marked her life.
It is rare to find a memoir that is so soul-bearing and touching as "My Sergei". While it is a love story, it is also so much more. It's a story of triumph, of the strength of the human spirit, and of love conquering over all.
I first read this shortly after its original publication, and have delved into it many times since. It's one book that I never tire of, and it is one that has touched millions of readers, skating fans and non-fans alike.