Поэзия Движений:  Елена Валова 
Олег Васильев   
Guestbook About Links Champions of 80's Русский

Date of birth: Elena Valova – 01/04/1963; Oleg Vasiliev – 11/22/1959. Place of birth: both were born in Leningrad (current Saint Petersburg), Russia. They both graduated from the P.F.Lesgaft University of Sports. They were married to each other from 1884 till 1992. Elena Valova is currently married (to German Galusha), has a son, Roman, born 1996. Oleg Vasiliev is divorced, has a daughter, Ekaterina, after the second marriage.


1. The Beginnings.


Elena Valova was born in 1963. Parents: Alla Borisovna Valova and Aleksander Dmitrievich Valov. Elena began her skating at the small public skating rink near the house where she lived with her parents. Her father even tried to coach her asking Elena to dance to the music going through their window. Teachers and students from her school were very well aware of these endeavors. One day, the principal of the school advised Elena to go to the ice rink on the Plehanov Street, where Tamara Moskvina was auditioning children for the skating school. Elena went there and was accepted to the school in the first attempt.


Elena Valova, “I was dreaming about large arenas, prestigious championships and big victories. During my childhood, I loved skating at this small public skating rink by our house and imagined myself inside the real stadium, where the champions skated. For the complete picture, I will say that I even skated to the music that my father would turn on for me, and I listened to my favorite melodies. Later, my grandmother registered me for the children’s skating group, and I began training on a regular basis. I was seven years old.”


Elena’s first coaches were Nina Monahova, Tatiana and Alexei Mishin. Years of regular trainings passed. Elena was more successful than others in learning difficult technical elements. But she did not have leading positions in Saint Petersburg’s pre-novice and then novice teams. Her career as a single skater was in its decline. One can only guess the path of Elena’s life in sports if Tamara Moskvina would not have called her parents and recommended she try pairs skating. Oleg Vasiliev became her partner.


Tamara Moskvina, “Why did I pay attention namely to Elena? Probably, because she reminded me of myself. They were also saying about me that I was not good enough, that I should not participate in the major competitions. I was mad, sometimes cried, but worked as hard as I could, despite everything. I was keeping an eye on Elena for longtime and understood that this girl was madly in love with figure skating. Real love is able to inspire the person, make him or her beautiful and powerful. I know that from my own experience…”


Oleg Vasiliev was born on November 22, 1959. Parents: Ludmila Konstantinovna Vasilieva and Kim Mihailovich Vasiliev. When Oleg was 5 years old, his mother registered him for the children’s skating group in the local park. He began skating on the open-air ice rink, by a riverbank. In three years, Oleg was among other young skaters who were bearing flowers for the participants of the exhibitions gala dedicated to the opening of the Sport Palace  “Yubileinyi” in Saint Petersburg. Later, Valova and Vasiliev were training on the rink of this stadium under the guidance of Tamara Moskvina.


Oleg Vasiliev: “It was in 1965, when my parents took me to the rink of the local park. Don’t think that our family was under the influence of the sport movements of that time, when the parents imagined their kids as future champions and were afraid to loose a chance. It was simple. I was very weak as a child, was sick very often, and my doctor advised me to be more often in the fresh air, to be more active. That is how I began skating. You know, the doctor’s advice worked. My health improved and since then I never left the sport. And I think, I never will.” Oleg began his training as a single skater under the guidance of Igor Moskvin (spouse of T. Moskvina – famous coach in Russia) in the same group with at that time famous Russian skaters Yuriy Ovchinnikov and Igor Bobrin.


Igor Moskvin, “ Communication between Vasiliev and Bobrin is a very interesting moment. They kind of compete against each other: in jumps, rythmics, posture. Vasiliev was first to execute triple Lutz and encouraged Bobrin. Bobrin, with his dances, inspired Vasiliev.”


As a single skater, Oleg had some achievements: he won Junior Nationals. But later he became interested in pair skating. When T.Moskvina offered him to try pair skating, he agreed. Elena Valova became his partner.

It was in 1978, when the pair of Elena Valova and Oleg Vasiliev (V&V) was created. They were 15 and 18 years old. Their single coach throughout their amateur and professional careers was Tamara Moskvina.


2. Path to the success: despite all odds.


Unfortunately, the path to success for Elena Valova and Oleg Vasiliev was not that easy. The first year was spent not for the battle with the rivals on the ice, but for the one with injuries. Their first time on the ice was in 1979. Elena and Oleg started to learn a new program and began competing, but they were always on the reserve list for the National team. The young athletes were not discouraged, but conversely, they continued to train hard. 1980 was the year of Valova&Vasiliev’s first success, when they won the international competition “Coup des Alpes” that took place on the ice rinks of France and Germany. That same year they became bronze medalists of the tournament “Moscow News Prize”. Their fighting character showed up also in 1981, when one interesting incident happened. In 1981, an international competition took place in Spain. It happened that for some reasons no pair besides Valova and Vasiliev came there to compete. Oleg decided to compete as a single skater. He executed their long program, replacing pairs’ elements for singles’(lifts for jumps). Oleg took the third place to the surprise of all, taking into consideration that he did not practice figures for three years. In 1982, Elena and Oleg won “Skate America”. During this competition Elena was compared with Irina Moiseeva, elegant dance figure skater, favorite of the audience. In the group of Tamara Moskvina, Valova and Vasiliev, were training with 1981 World Champions Irina Vorobieva and Igor Lisovskiy. T. Moskvina constantly repeated to her students, “Watch and remember, what is the nature of the Saint Petersburg skating school’s technique. It is clean and smooth.  You will reach this level.” Elena and Oleg never forgot these words.


Soon, the virtues of Valova and Vasiliev became evident.  They even gained their “own” appreciating audience that noticed that the young skaters not only were executing difficult elements, but also were very creative, putting them in interesting combinations. It took one more year to come third in the Soviet Nationals. In December 1982, they were again placed third in the competition “Moscow News Prize”. They were working hard preparing for the before-Olympic season, but in the end of December, 1982, Oleg was seriously injured, as a result, they had to miss the Soviet Nationals, after which the three top pairs would go to the 1983 European Championships. The chance to finally be on the National team was going away. Two weeks prior the European, they were included on the team as reserves. Hope appeared. Then happened what is usually called one chance in a lifetime – Valova and Vasiliev got a spot in the national team replacing injured leaders Marina Pestova and Stanislav Leonovich. They were included in advance, with hope of future success. There was no need to wait for success, it came at their first appearance at the 1983 Europeans – Elena Valova and Oleg Vasiliev were placed second. And then 2 months later, they won the 1983 World Championships debuting there, as well. They achieved their main goal – they became Olympic Champions of the 1984 Games in Sarajevo. During the preparation for their second Olympics, Elena was seriously injured that resulted in surgery in December 1987. She did not walk until January 1988 – one month prior to the Olympic Games in Calgary.  Nevertheless, their experience and skills helped them to win the silver medal. Elena and Oleg finished their amateur career undefeated, winning their third World title in 1988.


Elena Valova and Oleg Vasiliev were the first of the Soviet skaters who turned professional.

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