Elena Viktorovna Berezhnaya

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Elena Berezhnaya figure skating
Berezhnaya and Sikharulidze 2001 GPF.jpg

Sicharulidze and Berezhnaya (2001)

Full name Elena Viktorovna Berezhnaya
nation LatviaLatvia Latvia Russia
birthday October 11, 1977
place of birth Nevinnomyssk
size 154 cm
Weight 42 kg
discipline Pair skating
Partner Oleg Schljachow,
Anton Sicharulidze
Trainer Tamara Moskvina
status resigned
Medal table
Olympic medals 1 × gold 1 × silver 0 × bronze
World Cup medals 2 × gold 1 × silver 0 × bronze
EM medals 2 × gold 0 × silver 1 × bronze
Olympic rings winter Olympics
silver Nagano 1998 Couples
gold Salt Lake City 2002 Couples
ISU World figure skating championships
gold Minneapolis 1998 Couples
gold Helsinki 1999 Couples
silver Vancouver 2001 Couples
ISU European figure skating championships
bronze Paris 1997 Couples
gold Milan 1998 Couples
gold Bratislava 2001 Couples
Placements in the figure skating Grand Prix
 Podium placements 1. 2. 3.
 Grand Prix Final 1 3 1
 Grand Prix competitions 10 4th 4th

Jelena Wiktorowna Bereschnaja ( Russian Елена Викторовна Бережная ; born October 11, 1977 in Nevinnomyssk , Stavropol region ) is a former Russian figure skater who started in pair skating for Latvia and Russia .


Berezhnaya's parents divorced when she was five years old. The reason for the divorce was her father's alcohol problems. Her mother remarried. Berezhnaya has a younger brother named Ivan and an older brother named Alexei. The family also included three cousins ​​after their parents passed away. Jelena Berezhnaya started ice skating at the age of four. Two years later she took up figure skating training with Nina Ruschkina. When Berezhnaya was 13 years old, her trainer decided that she should form a pair with her son and that this would give them a chance to find a place in the CSKA Moscow figure skating school. So Bereznaya moved to far away Moscow . Her mother couldn't go with her. Rushkin had problems lifting Berezhnaya and so the couple made little progress.

After the unsuccessful figure skating partnership with Ruschkin and another figure skater, Oleg Schljachow (Lat. Oļegs Šļahovs ) became a partner of the 14-year-old Berezhnaya. He had already been abandoned by his seventh figure skating partner. At first things went well between Berezhnaya and Schljachow, but over time Schljachow became physically and verbally abusive towards her. He hit her and dropped her from uplifts. Schljachow decided to go to Riga and start for Latvia in order to be able to train there cheaper and better. Bereznaya saw no alternative and went with him. She also kept silent about Shlyachov's behavior from her mother in order not to aggravate her poor health. Berezhnaya continued for her mother because she knew that her daughter's television appearances gave her strength and joy. For a year, Berezhnaya and Schljachow were left without a trainer because nobody wanted to train them. Then they found a coach who was unknown to Shlyachov's reputation. After failed attempts to curb Schljachow, he gave up.

In 1993 Bereschnaja and Schljachow played their first world and European championships , which they finished as 14th and eighth respectively. At their first Olympic Games in Lillehammer in 1994 , they took a respectable eighth place. A little later, the renowned couple coach Tamara Moskwina invited the couple to train with her at the Jubileiny sports complex in Saint Petersburg . In contrast to the atmosphere at CSKA and in Riga, the social climate there was very positive. Berezhnaya immediately made friends with other figure skaters, especially with Anton Sicharulidze , the junior world champion in pair skating from 1994 and 1995. Shljachov observed this friendship with suspicion and felt Sicharulidze as a rival. He behaved well for six months, but then he dropped Berezhnaya from an uplift. The other figure skaters warned him not to do this again. Moskvina hired psychologists who worked regularly with Schljachow, but he relapsed again. Moskvina became more concerned and advised Berezhnaya to part with him. In 1995, Berezhnaya and Schljachow achieved their best placement in their third European championship with fifth place. As in the previous year, they finished seventh in their third World Cup . In late 1995 they won the Trophée Lalique . After that, Schljachow arranged for her to return to Riga with him for three weeks in order to prepare for the upcoming European Championship. Sicharulidze advised against it, but she told him that she could endure the few weeks. On January 9, 1996, Shlyachov's ice skate hit Berezhnaya on the head while pirouette the scales and cut her skull. A long hospital stay followed for her with two brain surgeries to remove bone particles from her brain. When Sicharulidze heard about it, he immediately went to Riga to visit her in the hospital. She could neither speak nor move at the time. Sicharulidze stayed with her and helped her recover. Berezhnaya wanted to return to figure skating and the doctors agreed to move carefully on the ice two months later. With the help of Sicharulidze and under the supervision of Tamara Moskvina, she made her first attempts on the ice again. Moskwina was enthusiastic about the way the two of them dealt with each other and so they began to think about a possible career together as pair skaters. Berezhnaya had recovered, but her speech was still impaired, so she went to speech therapy. Already at the European Championships in 1997 Sicharulidze and Berezhnaya competed together and immediately won the bronze medal.

A year later, at the 1998 European Championships in Milan , they became European champions and thus went to the 1998 Olympic Games in Nagano as favorites . A few seconds before the end of the freestyle they failed a lift that might cost them the gold medal. They won the silver medal behind their compatriots Oxana Kazakowa and Artur Dmitrijew . At the world championships in Minneapolis , Sicharulidze and Berezhnaya became world champions. You defended this title in 1999 at the World Cup in Helsinki . In 1999 they also became Russian champions for the first time, a title they defended until 2002. In 1999 the Jubileiny sports complex closed for renovation work. The couple then went to Hackensack , New Jersey , where they trained with the US couple Kyoko Ina and John Zimmerman , who were also looked after by Tamara Moskwina. In 2000 they won the European Championship in Vienna . A little later, however, they were disqualified because Berezhnaya had tested positive for pseudoephedrine . As a result, the title was stripped of them and they were banned from the World Cup. Berezhnaya had taken a medicine for a cold that her doctor had approved. But she had failed to report it to the ISU .

In 2001, Berezhnaya and Sicharulidze won their second European championship title in Bratislava . At the World Cup they were defeated by Canadians Jamie Salé and David Pelletier , with whom a rivalry had formed over the entire season.

Berezhnaya and Sicharulidze with President Putin after the 2002 Olympic Games

Both pairs went to the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City as favorites . The Russians won the short program while the Canadians suffered a fall. In the freestyle, Bereznaya and Sicharulidze made minor mistakes while the Canadians made no mistakes. Four judges saw the Canadians in front and five judges saw the Russians. Thus, Sicharulidze and Berezhnaya were awarded the gold medal.

The result sparked controversy. The President of the ISU Ottavio Cinquanta opened an investigation into a possible judge scandal under pressure from the IOC . The focus fell on the French judge Marie-Reine Le Gougne, the only western judge who had scored for the Russian couple. Under pressure from the media, she testified that she was intimidated to vote for the Russian couple in return for an advantage for French couple Anissina / Peizerat in the ice dance competition that took place a few days later. The scandal ended with the Canadian couple Salé and Pelletier being awarded a gold medal. Le Gougne later said she had assessed honestly and only admitted the opposite because of the high pressure from the media. The media, especially NBC , had a chance to break Russian dominance in this contest after 42 years. The Salt Lake City judging scandal prompted the ISU to completely reform the scoring system.

After the Olympic Games, Berezhnaya and Sicharulidze toured the USA with the ice revue Stars on Ice until 2006, after which they returned to Russia, where they appeared in some ice shows on television.

Berezhnaya and Sicharulidze had a relationship between 1996 and 2002. After that, they remained close friends. In 2010, Sicharulisdze became the godfather of Berezhnaya's son. The child's father is the British figure skater Steven Cousins ; In 2009 a daughter was born to the couple.


Pair skating

(until 1996 with Oleg Schljachow , from 1997 with Anton Sicharulidze )

Competition / year 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002
winter Olympics 8th. 2. 1.
World championships 14th 7th 7th 9. 1. 1. G 2.
European championships 8th. 8th. 5. 3. 1. Z D. 1.
Russian championships 2. 2. 1. 1. 1. 1.
  • Z = withdrawn
  • D = Disqualified (because of a positive doping result from Jelena Bereschnaja)
  • G = blocked by ISU

Web links

Commons : Elena Berezhnaya  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d http://lena-anton-rus.narod.ru/karavan.html
  2. Archive link ( Memento of the original dated December 23, 2011 on WebCite ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.km.ru
  3. http://ptichkafs.livejournal.com/43514.html#cutid1
  4. https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/longterm/olympics1998/sport/figskate/articles/russian10.htm
  5. http://www.iceskatingintnl.com/archive/results_worlds/world00p.htm
  6. http://www.mk.ru/editions/daily/article/2008/04/22/44010-syigraem-svadbu-kogda-rodim-vtorogo.html
  7. Archive link ( Memento of the original dated December 23, 2011 on WebCite ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / tden.ru