is figure skating for you?
Sport with bright elements of art.
Art embodied in sport.
an interview for a Russian magazine)
Valova and Oleg Vasiliev.
Olympic champions, pride of Russian sport. Having won every possible
medals and titles, they have forever entered their names in the history
of world figure skating. Not only for that is this pair significant.
Unique style, original elements became their distinctive feature and
signature on ice. Elena Valova and Oleg Vasiliev have brought new colors
into pair figure skating and made a weighty contribution to its
issue of style was always the most exciting one for Elena, Oleg and
their coach Tamara Moskvina. Well, where is the enigma of Valova&Vasiliev’s
style? What distinguished 1984 Olympic champions from their predecessors
Figuratively speaking, the distinctive feature of the pair Valova -
Vasiliev was in skill to hear and understand the melody of lines and
edges, the melody of a jump, the melody of gesture and to create poetry
in motion on ice.
of all, it is necessary to note, that Valova and Vasiliev together with
Moskvina have creatively developed the style, which is named harmonious
in the international practice. They did not concentrate, for example,
only on jumps or lifts; their programs, especially long, were very well
balanced with particular feeling of measure. At the same time each step,
each element did not exist in their own on order to just only show them
to the judges – every movement in the programs was directed on that to
fully open the music, to show the understanding of the theme, to create
a memorable image. Merge of sport and art almost fully occurred.
Skating style of Elena Valova and Oleg Vasiliev was an example of the
ice aesthetics and the beautiful balanced skating. They distanced from
already existing ideas; they were always in search for synthesis of
music, plastics and expressiveness.
T. Moskvina’s opinion, one of the main reasons of breathtaking rise of
her students is that from the very beginning Elena and Oleg understood
how important is the merge of art and sport, that the resources of art
are endless. Musicality and virtuosity were always combined with
technical difficulty in Valova and Vasiliev's programs. Maybe, namely
for these reasons, it is considered that Elena Valova and Oleg Vasiliev
have opened a new era in pairs figure skating development. The era of
combination of artistism and the complicated techniques of skating.
According to Elena and Oleg, they set for themselves the goal to make
pairs figure skating more entertaining, to catch up the dancers in
artistry and also not to be behind the single skaters in execution of
Valova and Oleg Vasiliev included in all their programs difficult jumps,
lifts, but never forgot to continue the search for new elements. The
signature feature of Elena and Oleg is fast movements, speed, power and
stability. Due to this feature, they were able to execute the most
complicated, almost acrobatic elements. There are several unique
elements that were created and executed by them. Here is the list of
some of them:
in opposite direction is of particular pride of Valova and
Vasiliev. This element now can be seen in T. Totmianina and M.
when the female
partner lands on the ice from a lift while executing a somersault.
This element has been officially registered by ISU.
when both partners from the sit-spin position rise and continue
spinning while holding their free legs with one arm (see photo).
in which the female
partner has the position of the well known “billman spin (see photo).
This element Valova and Vasiliev first executed being professionals.
It is considered one of the most beautiful elements in pairs figure
Elena Valova and Oleg Vasiliev were the first:
side-by-side triple jump;
side-by-side triple jump in combination;
Soviet pair to turn
repeat the achievement of Irina Rodnina and Alexei Ulanov – to win
World Championships in their first attempt in 1983.
For the preparation of the page, the following sources were used:
- A.Chajkovsky, " Zakonomernaya Slucgainost”, a year-book " Sport i Lichnost " 1985 # 5
- an album " Figure skating in the USSR " 1989.
- A.Sheluhin of " Romantiki na ldu", a year-book "Panorama sportivnogo goda1984 " M. 1985.
-S.Olgin " Na Svoem Konke ", magazine "Olympic panorama " 1984 #1