Irina Eduardovna Slutskaya (born February 9, 1979) is a Russian figure skater. She is a two-time World Champion (2002, 2005), two-time Olympic medalist (silver in 2002, bronze in 2006), seven-time European Champion (1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006), a four-time Grand Prix Final Champion (2000–2002, 2005) and a four-time Russian National Champion (2000–2002, 2005). Slutskaya, known for her athletic ability, was the first female skater to land a triple lutz-triple loop combination. She is also known for her trademark double Biellmann spin with a foot change, which she also invented. She is generally considered to be the most successful ladies' singles skater in Russian history.
Slutskaya began skating at the age of four due to her mother. She was coached by Zhanna Gromova since the age of six and throughout her competitive career. During her career, Slutskaya won a total of 40 gold medals, 21 silver medals, and 18 bronze medals.
In 1996, Slutskaya became the first Russian woman to win the European title. She repeated as European champion in 1997. She won bronze at the 1996 World Championships and finished fourth in 1997.
At the 1998 Winter Olympics, she finished fifth behind Chen Lu and Maria Butyrskaya. Lu Chen edged Butyrskaya 5–4 for the bronze and Slutskaya 6–3. The next month, Slutskaya won silver at the 1998 World Championships. She did not win any competitions in the 1998–99 season and missed both the European and the World Championships. She considered leaving competition but decided to continue.
Slutskaya made a successful comeback at the 2000 Grand Prix Final. She landed seven clean triples, including two triple-triple combinations and became the first woman to do a triple lutz-triple loop combination. She later won her third European title and won a silver medal at the 2000 World Championships with Michelle Kwan winning the gold.
At the 2001 World Championships, Slutskaya became the first woman to land a triple salchow-triple loop-double toe loop combination and won the silver medal. She lost in a 7–2 decision to Michelle Kwan. Kwan had no visible mistakes while Slutskaya two-footed her triple lutz-triple loop-double toe loop combination and had problems on two other landings.
Slutskaya won silver at the 2002 Winter Olympics and became the second Russian ever to win a medal in the women's event. The competition had been billed in advance as a head-to-head battle between Slutskaya and American Michelle Kwan. After the short program, as expected, Kwan and Slutskaya placed first and second with Sasha Cohen and Sarah Hughes of the U.S. placing third and fourth, respectively. Kwan finished behind fellow American Hughes in the overall standings. Slutskaya had to win the free skate in order to win gold but Hughes won the free skate in a 5–4 decision. Russia, still somewhat aggrieved about the outcome of an earlier dispute over the pairs competition, filed a complaint against the result but it was rejected shortly.
The next month, Slutskaya won the 2002 World title in Nagano. Slutskaya finished first in both the qualifying round and the short program, followed by Fumie Suguri and Michelle Kwan. Although Slutskaya could place second to Kwan in the free skate and still win, she won a majority of the judges' votes in the segment. It was her first World title.
Illness and comebackEdit
Slutskaya chose not to compete at the 2003 World Championships after receiving news that her mother had fallen seriously ill, requiring a kidney transplant. The initial transplant was rejected and another one had to be performed. However, soon after her mother's condition began improving, Slutskaya's own health sharply deteriorated, including fatigue and swelling in the legs. She went to several hospitals which struggled to correctly diagnose her condition. Doctors told her that she should stay away from the cold, but she refused and finished 9th at the 2004 World Championships.
She was diagnosed with vasculitis. In 2005, Slutskaya made a comeback after a long stay at a hospital. She won the 2005 European Championships, matching the record for the most European titles in ladies' singles. At the 2005 World Championships, Slutskaya was first after the short program and skated last in the free skate, winning the title. In an interview, she said: "This is the question they ask: how could you get up after your fall last year? That's not right at all. You can't talk that way. When a person is ill, it's not a fall, it's a misfortune. And no one, unfortunately, is safe from that. I only want to say to those who don't believe in their [own capacity for] recovery: believe, fight ... I got up — you can too."
She said the 2005 World Championships free skate was "the skate of her life" because "she was in front of her friends and family, and she was skating at home". On January 19, 2006, Slutskaya won the European Championships for the seventh time, becoming the most successful ladies' skater at the European Championships.
At the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy, Slutskaya was one of the heavy favorites to win the gold medal. She was in second place after the short program, behind Sasha Cohen of the United States. In the long program, Slutskaya doubled a triple flip and then fell on a triple loop jump. She won the bronze medal, behind gold medalist Shizuka Arakawa of Japan and silver medalist Cohen. Slutskaya did not compete in the 2006 Worlds the following month. In November 2006, she denied reports that claimed she was retiring from competitive figure skating, saying the reports were completely false.
On April 10, 2007 Slutskaya announced she was returning to Russia from the United States and would not participate on the 2007 Champions on Ice tour after finding out she and her husband, Sergei, were expecting a child. Slutskaya stated that she was enjoying motherhood and had no plans to return to skating competitively. "I don’t see the target," she said. "I don’t know why I have to go there. I have almost all the titles."
She began a career in show business. She presented figure skating reality shows on Russia Channel 1 "Stars on Ice" with co-host Yevgeni Plushenko and "Ice Age" with actor Marat Basharov. She has released CD, too. In 2008, she took part in a Russian TV soap opera about figure skating "Hot Ice". She also toured as the lead skater in the Russian version of the show "Winx on Ice".
In November 2008, Slutskaya performed in the "Skate from the Heart" show. In 2009, she was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
In 2011, Slutskaya also participated in 2010 Winter Olympic champion Kim Yu-Na ice show All That Skate Summer. In October 2012, Slutskaya competed in the first Medal Winner's Open, an event for Olympic and World medalists. She placed third in the ladies' field. She is an ambassador for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Slutskaya was born in 1979 in Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union, the only child of a Russian mother and Jewish father. Her mother was a former cross-country skier for the Soviet Union.
Slutskaya married her boyfriend, Sergei Mikheev, in August 1999. They had met each other three years earlier at a summer camp near Moscow, where Mikheev was a physical education instructor. She gave birth to a son, named Artem, in November 2007 in Moscow. Regretting not having siblings herself, she said she would like another child. In October 2010, she gave birth to their second child, a daughter named Varvara.
Records and achievementsEdit
- Invented the double Biellmann spin with foot change
- First Russian woman to win European title (1996)
- First woman to land triple lutz, triple loop combination in competition (2000 Grand Prix Final)
- First woman to land a triple salchow, triple loop, double toe-loop combination (2001 World Championships)
- First Russian woman skater to win a silver medal at the Olympics (2002 Salt Lake City)
- Four-time Russian Nationals champion
- Four-time Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final Champion
- Two-time World Champion (2002, 2005)
- First (and only) woman ever to win seven European titles (2006)
|GP (CS) Final||2nd||3rd||4th||3rd||1st||1st||1st||2nd||1st||2nd|
|GP Cup of China||1st||1st|
|GP Cup of Russia||1st||1st||3rd||1st||1st||1st||3rd||1st||1st|
|GP NHK Trophy||2nd||1st||2nd|
|GP Skate America||3rd||3rd|
|GP Skate Canada||1st||3rd||1st||2nd|
|Russian Jr. Championship||1st|
|GP = Grand Prix (Champions Series 1995–1997); WD = Withdrew|
|Season||Short program||Free skating||Exhibition|
- ↑ Slutskaya's profile – Ice Symphony Russia. Translate.google.com. Retrieved on January 4, 2011.
- ↑ Irina Slutskaya stormed musical Olympus. Translate.google.com. Retrieved on January 4, 2011.
- ↑ Hot Ice. Translate.google.com. Retrieved on January 4, 2011.
- ↑ Winx on Ice Russia. Translate.google.com. Retrieved on January 4, 2011.
- ↑ "Amway Global Skate from the Heart 2008"
- ↑ Japan hosts three star-studded events this week
- ↑ Japan Open 2012 and Open Medal Winner, stars in world race (in Italian)
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