Katia Gordeeva is a two-time Olympic gold medalist with her late husband Sergei Grinkov. After his death she began skating as a single’s skater and continuing to delight audiences just as she had as a part of Gordeeva & Grinkov, one of the most beloved pairs teams in figure skating history. Katia penned a memoir My Sergei that went on to be a bestseller and also A Letter for Daria for her daughter with Grinkov. She has appeared many times with Stars on Ice with Grinkov, with husband Ilia Kulik and as a solo skater.
She’s been my (Kari) hero since I was a little girl. We were honored to spend time with Katia and talk to her about Stars on Ice (check out our review with the show here), music and more!
Kari: What do you enjoy most about Stars on Ice?
Katia Gordeeva: I’ve been with Stars on Ice for many,many years. This year is one of the best. I was actually really surprised they asked me this year because there are a lot of other skaters, and I’m oldest of this group.
Kari: You’ve been my hero since I was a little girl. I would come and see just you skate for two hours.
Katia Gordeeva: Thank you very much. I’m enjoying every minute of it. There’s great music this year. I love Jeff Buttle’s choreography. It was a challenge, this show. This year we only had four days to rehearse the whole show and then we had to do the whole show right away.
Katia Gordeeva: But it put us all in a working mood. To get it finished on time. I really like the community. Every Number. Great Cast. [It’s] Patrick’s first year and he’s nice. [It’s] Kimmie’s first full tour with Stars on Ice. We have great dancers. It’s nice to see Evan again; he’s an amazing skater. We have a great cast.
Katia Gordeeva: You see on this tour that everyone is full 100 percent on the ice. It’s really nice. It’s great, it gets me in a… not competitive mood, but I’m afraid to let them down.
Kari: It must be really inspiring.
Katia Gordeeva: It is really inspiring.
Kari: We saw the preview, and from the preview it looks like a great show. I’m a big Gershwin fan so I’m super excited about the big Gershwin number. You’ve had amazing programs, so many amazing programs that I’ve loved. What’s your favorite you’ve ever skated with Stars on Ice?
Katia Gordeeva: Through the years? Like my own? That would be so difficult. There have been so many, I could probably say 10 right away, right now. I really like my number with ribbon. I really enjoyed the year when we did Four Corners. I really enjoyed the next year when we did the Spanish number with Ilia (Kulik). Obviously back there with Sergei “Vocalise.” With Brian Orser we had a Spanish number, a long time ago, the three of us actually. And [The] Rolling Stones .
Kari: That’s one of my all time favorite figure skating group numbers. And your “Out of Tears” that was the two of you. I loved that.
Katia Gordeeva: Yeah, that was great. The Bach number that with Torvill & Dean and Paul [Wylie]. It’s so hard to name one. There’s been so many good ones.
Kari: We always ask a few silly questions when we interview people. If you could be any superhero, who would you be?
Katia Gordeeva: I would actually fly on a carpet.
Kari: I think that’s a good one. You can travel wherever you want to go.
My favorite question is if you’re trying to get pumped up for something and you’ve got just a few minutes in the car and you can listen to one song, what song would you listen to get excited?
Katia Gordeeva: That’s hard.
Kari: For me, it’s different songs different days because I have so many favorite songs.
Katia Gordeeva: It’s true. Every year you pick something when it comes out. Do you know “Dangerous (by David Guetta)?” I kind of like that song and it gives me a boost.
Kari: Well, we have a little guy here, and we want to expose him to different things, but if he was interested in figure skating, what would be your biggest piece of advice for us for him?
Katia Gordeeva: I think you can put him on the ice, not very early, I think four years old. And patience is the most important thing. So don’t plan on like we’re shooting for Olympics. Actually relax, and let him enjoy every moment. You’ve got give a little push at some point, but let him …slowly, slowly… invite him to the ice. A good coach, shouldn’t be famous from the very beginning, but someone who can really teach him from the beginning. Not just babysitting. They’re really like a sponge. I put a lot of skaters, because I’m a teacher now, so I put a lot of little skaters on the ice, and they are skating with two, three years with me, it’s unbelievable because of how much they can intake. You can definitely see if they’re interested or not, and that’s up to the coach to keep them interested. Even a little hungry, keep them hungry every time “oh maybe I’ll learn something else next time.”
Kari: Keep them excited about it, yeah. So what’s next for you after the tour?
Katia Gordeeva: Back to teaching.
Kari: Do you like teaching? Do you like working with children.
Katia Gordeeva: It’s pretty cool, yeah. I would never say three or four years ago that I would be teaching a lot, but now I’m good with that. Actually I really enjoy teaching little ones. It’s fun. You can really see that they’re into it. You want to help them. You can play with them.
Kari: That must be fun. I know both of your girls skated each for a little while.
Katia Gordeeva: The younger one is still skating.
Kari: She was lovely when we saw her at the Family Event. It’s always sweet to see you guys skate together. That must be special to get to skate as a family.
Katia Gordeeva: It’s fun, it’s always fun.
Kari: I’m just so happy we got a chance to meet you.
We were delighted to spend time talking with Katia. Who better to reminesce about the history of Stars on Ice with then one of its brightest stars? Katia Gordeeva can currently be seen performing with the 2015 Stars on Ice Tour “Dancing for Joy” and you can get information and tickets here. You can also check out our review of the preview and the tour, as well as interviews with other Stars on Ice skaters Evan Lysacek and Meryl Davis & Charlie White.
(All images, unless otherwise noted, belong to The He Said She Said Experience)