Alexander Smirnov (figure skater)

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Alexander Smirnov
2010 EC Podium Kavaguti Smirnov.jpg
Kavaguti and Smirnov at the 2010 European Championships.
Personal information
Full name Alexander Viktorovich Smirnov
Country represented Russia
Born (1984-10-11) 11 October 1984 (age 29)
Tver, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Home town Tver, Russia
Residence Saint Petersburg, Russia
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Partner Yuko Kavaguti
Former partner Alexandra Danilova
Ekaterina Vasilieva
Coach Tamara Moskvina
Former coach Nikolai Velikov, Lyudmila Smirnova, Igor Moskvin
Choreographer Alexander Matveev, Peter Tchernyshev, Natalia Bestemianova, Tatiana Druchinina, Igor Bobrin, Ivan Kozlov
Skating club Yubileyny
Began skating 1988
World standing 10 (As of 2 February 2014)[1]
Season's bests 7 (2012–2013)[2]
4 (2011–2012)[3]
4 (2010–2011)[4]
3 (2009–2010)[5]
4 (2008–2009)[6]
ISU personal best scores
Combined total 213.15
2010 Europeans
Short program 74.16
2010 Winter Olympics
Free skate 139.23
2010 Europeans

Alexander Viktorovich Smirnov (Russian: Александр Викторович Смирнов, born 11 October 1984) is a Russian pair skater. Smirnov teamed up with Yuko Kavaguti in May 2006. They are the 2010 European champions, 2009 and 2010 World bronze medalists, 2011 Grand Prix Final bronze medalists, and 2008–2010 Russian Champions. They have won a total of four European medals. On the Grand Prix series, they have won thirteen medals, including gold medals at 2008 Skate Canada International, 2010 Cup of Russia, 2011 Cup of China, 2011 NHK Trophy and the 2012 Trophee Eric Bompard

Early career[edit]

Alexander Smirnov began skating at the age of 3½. His first coach was Larisa Yakovleva. At the age of 16, Smirnov moved from Tver to St. Petersburg and switched to pair skating. He trained with Nikolai Velikov and former pair skater Lyudmila Smirnova. He skated with her daughter for a while, but they never competed. At the age of 20, he teamed up with singles skater, Alexandra Danilova, who was 14 years old. They only competed together twice in local competitions in Russia where they placed third and eighth. He then partnered with another singles skater, Ekaterina Vasilieva. With Vasilieva they were the 2006 Russian Junior Champions and 6th at the 2006 World Junior Championships. The couple broke up after one season together.

Partnership with Kavaguti[edit]

Kavaguti/Smirnov with coach Tamara Moskvina

In May 2006,[7] Smirnov teamed up with Japanese skater Yuko Kavaguti to compete for Russia.[8] He said, "We often trained at the same rink and I could see how hard she works. I thought I was a hard worker but after watching her I was really amazed by her work level."[9] They train at the Yubileyny Sports Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russia. They initially worked with Velikov but Kavaguti had been training with Tamara Moskvina since 1998 and preferred to stay with her.[7] They began training with Moskvina in September 2006.

2006–2007 season[edit]

Their first Grand Prix competition was the Cup of Russia where they won the bronze medal. They also competed at the Coupe de Nice in France and won gold. Kavaguti dislocated her shoulder after a fall on a quad throw in 2006 and occasionally suffered recurring problems for several years after.[10] During practice on December 25, 2006, Kavaguti broke her ankle,[8] forcing the pair to withdraw from the 2007 Russian Championship and the 2007 European Championship. They competed at the 2007 World Championships in Tokyo, Japan. This was their first worlds as a pair; and his first worlds as a senior skater. They came in 4th after the short program, 10th in the long program and 9th overall.

2007–2008 season[edit]

Kavaguti/Smirnov competed in the Cup of Russia where they once again took the bronze medal. They won a bronze medal at Skate Canada. At the Cup of Nice they place 1st in both the short and long program and won the gold for the second year in a row. At their first Grand Prix Final they placed 6th in the short program after having a two point deduction for an illegal element. In the finals they got a one point deduction for a fall on the throw quad Salchow and came in 5th place overall.

The pair won their first Russian Championship in 2008 by winning the short and long program. They won by 10.43 points over Mukhortova/Trankov in spite of a three point deduction for stopping the program due to injury. Kavaguti fell and dislocated her shoulder after a throw quadruple Salchow. She attempted to continue the program despite the pain, however Smirnov, seeing that she had trouble raising her arm, stopped the program. After the two-minute pause permitted by the rules, the pair completed the program and won their first national title, having completed two triple toeloops, a triple twist, and a throw triple loop.[11]

Kavaguti/Smirnov at the 2008 European Championships

Their first European Championships were held in Zagreb, Croatia in January 2008. During the long program they landed the throw quad Salchow but a fall on a triple jump and planned double Axel that was turned into a single was only enough for a bronze medal. The 2008 World Championship was held in Gothenburg, Sweden. Kavaguti/Smirnov received a personal best short program score of 71.42 which placed them in third place. They landed a throw quad Salchow and several elements received a level four but they dropped to fourth place only 1.45 points out of third.

2008–2009 season[edit]

Kavaguti/Smirnov once again won their third gold at the Coupe de Nice. At Skate Canada they won their first international competition at an ISU Grand Prix competition. They then competed at the Cup of Russia where they were 2nd after the short program and 1st in the free skate. They finished 2nd overall. The pair went their 2nd Grand Prix Final where they placed 6th in the short program and 5th in the free skate. They once again finished in 5th place.

Kavaguti/Smirnov defended their title at the 2009 Russian National Championships. Although in second going into the free skate they easily beat the second place team of Mukhortova/Trankov by over 15 points. At the 2009 European Championship the pair who was in 3rd place after the short improved on the previous year's placement with a silver medal.

At the 2009 World Championships in Los Angeles, California, Kavaguti/Smirnov were in second place after the short program. In the free skate Kavaguti fell hard on her cheek after a throw quad salchow but got up seconds later and the pair continued to skate. They earned their first world bronze medal losing the silver to Dan Zhang / Hao Zhang by 0.13. They were selected to compete on behalf of Russia in the ISU’s first ever World Team Trophy in Japan. The pair was 2nd in the short program and free skate and finished 2nd overall. The Russian team finished in 5th place.

2009–2010 season[edit]

Kavaguti/Smirnov perform their short program at the 2010 Olympics

Kavaguti/Smirnov were chosen to compete at the NHK Trophy in Japan. After the short program they were in 1st place ahead of Qing Pang / Jian Tong. In the free skate Kavaguti once again fell on the quad throw once again dislocating her shoulder. The program was stopped for a two-minute medical break and the pair decided to continue. Despite a three point deduction for the fall and ‘Interruption in Excess’ due to the medical break, they won the silver.

At the Cup of Russia they got 2nd place in the short program and free skate, winning the silver medal behind Pang/Tong. They once again scored enough points in the Grand Prix series to make it to the Grand Prix Finals where they placed 6th in short program and 5th in the free skate. For the third year in a row they finished in 5th place.

Kawaguchi/Smirnov perform their long program at the 2010 Olympics

Kavaguti/Smirnov skated in their third Russian Championship and placed first with both programs to win their third consecutive championship over Mukhortova/Trankov by over 11 points. They skated at the 2010 European Championships in Tallinn, Estonia and were second after the short with less than one point separating the top three pairs. They skated a nearly flawless free skate with Kavaguti stepping out of the triple toe loop being the only mistake. In the middle of the program Kavaguti’s shoulder dislocated but she was able to get it back into place and carry on with the rest of the program. They won the European Championship; receiving a score of 139.29 which was a world record free skate score.[12]

Kavaguti/Smirnov competed in their first Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada. They were 3rd after the short program with a season’s best score of 74.16, only 2.5 points behind the 1st place team of Shen/Zhao. During the warm-up the pair was told by their coach not to attempt the quad throw. The first throw was a triple salchow; Kavaguti put her hand down and stumbled coming out of the jump. Smirnov stepped out of the double Axel and because there was no speed to complete the second Axel, the pair didn’t complete the sequence. Kavaguti fell on the final throw dislocating her shoulder. The pair continued but failed to achieve full levels on many of the elements. Although they were in 1st place, there were still three pairs left to skate. They placed 4th overall. They were the highest placing Russian pair skaters.

The 2010 World championships were held in Torino, Italy. Much like the World Championships in 2009, they were second after the short program and after a fall they dropped to third in the free skate; less than a point out of 2nd place. This was their second consecutive world bronze medal.

2010–2011 season[edit]

Smirnov at 2010 Cup of Russia

In April 2010, Kavaguti had surgery on her shoulder.[13] Smirnov was also suffering with a groin injury and received treatment in Germany.[14] After his return he sprained his ankle. The couple was off the ice for three months. They were assigned to compete at Skate Canada and Cup of Russia during the 2010–11 Grand Prix season, but due to the injuries of the pair they withdrew from Skate Canada.

Kavaguti/Smirnov competed at their only Grand Prix competition at the 2010 Cup of Russia where they were first in the short program and won the free skate by over 17 points. This was their 5th medal at the Cup of Russia. They have won more medals at this competition than any other pair. Despite their win, they did not have enough points to compete at the Grand Prix Finals because of their withdrawal from Skate Canada. At the 2011 Russian Championships they were second after the short. A mistake on the side by side jumps and an awkward lift left them almost 4.50 points out of first place. In the long program they skated last and held on to second place.

In Bern, Switzerland at the 2011 European Championships, Kavaguti/Smirnov were in second place behind Savchenko/Szolkowy after the short program. In the free skate they skated last; even though they won the free skate they could not make up the 2.82-point deficit to win the gold and settled for silver. Both of their programs earned them season’s best scores.

Kavaguti/Smirnov at the 2011 World Championships

The 2011 World Championships were originally scheduled to be held in Tokyo in March but due to the devastating earthquake and tsunami, the competition was moved to Moscow in late April. Kavaguti/Smirnov skated last out of 22 teams in the short program; but a fall by Smirnov on a step sequence left them in 5th place going into the free skate. During the free skate they received a score of 124.82 with a fall on a throw being the only mistake. They finished in 4th place.

2011–2012 season[edit]

For the 2011–2012 season, Kavaguti/Smirnov took up the new option to compete at three Grand Prix events. They easily won their first event at the 2011 Cup of China finishing first in both the short program and free skate to win the event with a total score of 186.74. Their next event was at the 2011 NHK Trophy in Sapporo, Japan. In the short program, Kavaguti's fall on an under-rotated triple toe loop combined with several elements receiving lower levels left the pair in 5th place with a score of 55.02. They placed first in the free skate and won the gold medal with a total score of 177.51 over reigning World Champions Aliona Savchenko / Robin Szolkowy. The win qualified them for the Grand Prix Final. At the 2011 Cup of Russia, the pair were second after the short program with a score of 65.17. They finished second with a total score of 197.84. It was their sixth consecutive medal at the Cup of Russia. At the Grand Prix Final, they placed fourth in the short program with a score of 61.37[15] and third in the free skate with 126.40, winning the bronze medal with a total of 187.77.[16][17] It was the pair's first-ever medal at the Grand Prix Final.

On 20 December 2011, Moskvina said they had requested to be excused from the 2012 Russian Championships to allow Smirnov to heal from a knee injury which arose before the Grand Prix Final.[17][18][19] On 4 January 2012, Smirnov had emergency surgery to remove his appendix and an intestinal hernia.[20][21][22] Since he was unable to recover in time for the pair to compete at the European Championships in Sheffield, Great Britain from 23–29 January they were replaced by Ksenia Stolbova / Fedor Klimov.[21]

At the 2012 World Championships in Nice France, Kavaguti/Smirnov were skating well during their short program until a bad fall at the end of a lift put them in 11th place with a score of 59.59. This was 12 weeks to the day after Smirnov’s surgery. During their free program, an aborted lift received no points and the couple earned a score of 122.83 and earned 4th place in the free skate. With the errors of the two lifts in both programs they were unable to medal and earned a combined total of 182.42 and were in 7th place, 7.28 points away from a medal.

2012–2013 season[edit]

In the summer of 2012, Smirnov underwent surgery on the meniscus in his right knee.[23] After August test skates, the pair decided to replace their planned short program to Cats with one set to a Strauss waltz.[23]

Kavaguti/Smirnov's first Grand Prix competition of the year was the 2012 Cup of China. Placing second in both the short and the long, they won silver behind China's Pang/Tong. This was their second consecutive medal at this event; they had previously won the gold. At the 2012 Trophée Eric Bompard in France, they were first in the short program with a score of 66.78. Although they placed second the free skate with a score of 121.21 behind Canada’s Megan Duhamel / Eric Radford, they had enough points going into the free skate to win their first gold in France. At the 2012 Grand Prix Final, Kavaguti/Smirnov scored 58.02 after the short program due in part to a fall by Kavaguti on a throw and errors by both on the triple toe loops. In the free skate, Kavaguti/Smirnov skated first. Although their only mistake was a doubled triple toe loop by Kavaguti, low levels on some of the elements placed them in 5th in the free skate with a score of 120.70. They were 6th place over all.

Kavaguti/Smirnov then competed at the 2013 Russian Championships in Sochi, Russia. They skated first in the short program and earned a level three on their triple twist, a level two on their death spiral and all other elements received a level four. They received a score of 70.19 and were in second place going into the free skate. They had a nearly flawless free skate with Kavaguti's hand touching the ice on a throw jump being the only mistake. They scored 137.18 and behind champions Tatiana Volosozhar / Maxim Trankov with a total score of 207.37.

At the 2013 European Championships Kavaguti/Smirnov had a disastrous short program with Smirnov falling on the triple toe loop and Kavaguti stepping out of the triple loop throw. A bad ending to the death spiral along with low levels left them in 5th place with a score of 56.20. In the free skate Smirnov singled a double axel and then fell. They were fifth in the free skate with a score of 119.28 and finished fifth overall. It was the first time in five appearances that they failed to medal at Europeans.

Kavaguti/Smirnov competed at the 2013 World Championships in London, Ontario. They were 4th in the short program with a seasons best score of 69.98. During the free skate the pair was completing the final lift when Smirnov hit the boards and abandoned the lift resulting in the element receiving a zero. Moskvina said the arena was unusually narrow. With no credit given for the lift they dropped from 4th to 6th with a final score of 191.59.

2013–2014 season[edit]

For the 2013–14 Grand Prix series, Kavaguti/Smirnov were assigned to the NHK Trophy and Skate Canada, both events that they had previously won. In October 2013, Smirnov suffered a ruptured patellar tendon in a fall while competing at the Panin Memorial in Saint Petersburg.[24] They withdrew from their assignments and missed the season. In April 2014, the pair said they planned to compete in 2014–15.[25]

Awards and titles[edit]

  • Order of the President of the Russian Federation ’For services to the development of physical culture and sports, high athletic achievements at the XXI Olympic Games 2010 in Vancouver’ (March 5, 2010)[26]
  • The Best in the Sport of St. Petersburg (February 2010)[27]
  • Honored Master of Sports of Russia (2009)[28]

Personal life[edit]

In November 2006, Smirnov earned a diploma in municipality management, and began studying sport theory at a sports university.[8] He married Ekaterina Garus in August 2010.[14] From a previous relationship, he has a son.


With Kavaguti[edit]

Season Short program Free skating Exhibition
  • Manfred Symphony
    by Pyotr I. Tchaikovsky
    choreo. by Peter Tchernyshev
  • February
    by Leonid Levashkevich
    choreo. by Alexander Matveev, Peter Tchernyshev

  • Macavity: The Mystery Cat
    (from Cats)
    choreo. by Peter Tchernyshev
  • Clair de Lune
    by Claude Debussy
    choreo. by Peter Tchernyshev

  • The Blue Danube
    by Johann Strauss II

  • The Prophet/Still Got the Blues
    by Gary Moore


  • The Prophet/Still Got the Blues
    by Gary Moore
  • Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso
    by Camille Saint-Saëns

With Vasilieva[edit]

Season Short program Free skating


With Kavaguti[edit]

Event 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09 2009–10 2010–11 2011–12 2012–13 2013–14 2014–15
Olympics 4th
Worlds 9th 4th 3rd 3rd 4th 7th 6th
Europeans 3rd 2nd 1st 2nd WD 5th
Grand Prix Final 5th 5th 5th 3rd 6th
GP Bompard 1st
GP Cup of China 1st 2nd
GP NHK Trophy 2nd 1st WD TBD
GP Rostelecom 3rd 3rd 2nd 2nd 1st 2nd
GP Skate America TBD
GP Skate Canada 3rd 1st WD WD
Cup of Nice 1st 1st 1st
Russian Champ. WD 1st 1st 1st 2nd WD 2nd
Team events
World Team 5T/2P
GP = Grand Prix; TBD = Assigned; WD = Withdrew
T = Team result; P = Personal result; Medals awarded for team result only.

Detailed results[edit]

2010 European Championships pairs podium
2010 World Championships pairs podium
2011 European Championships pairs podium
2009 World Championships pairs podium

(Small medals for short and free programs awarded only at ISU Championships – Worlds, Europeans, and Junior Worlds. At team events, medals awarded for team results only.)

2012–2013 season
Date Event SP FS Total
March 13–15, 2013 2013 World Championships 4
January 23–27, 2013 2013 European Championships 5
December 25–28, 2012 2013 Russian Championships 2
December 6–9, 2012 2012-2013 Grand Prix Final 6
November 15–18, 2012 2012 Trophee Eric Bompard 1
November 2–4, 2012 2012 Cup of China 2
2011–2012 season
Date Event SP FS Total
March 26 – April 1, 2012 2012 World Championships 11
December 8–11, 2011 2011–2012 Grand Prix Final 4
November 25–27, 2011 2011 Rostelecom Cup 2
November 11–13, 2011 2011 NHK Trophy 5
November 4–6, 2011 2011 Cup of China 1
2010–2011 season
Date Event SP FS Total
April 27 – May 1, 2011 2011 World Championships 5
January 24–30, 2011 2011 European Championships 2
December 26–29, 2010 2011 Russian Championships 2
November 19–22, 2010 2010 Rostelecom Cup 1
2009–2010 season
Date Event SP FS Total
March 22–28, 2010 2010 World Championships 2
February 14–27, 2010 2010 Olympic Winter Games 3
January 18–24, 2010 2010 European Championships 2
December 24–29, 2009 2010 Russian Championships 1
December 3–6, 2009 2009–2010 Grand Prix Final 6
November 5–8, 2009 2009 NHK Trophy 1
October 22–25, 2009 2009 Rostelecom Cup 2
2008–2009 season
Date Event SP FS Total
April 15–19, 2009 2009 World Team Trophy 2
March 22–29, 2009 2009 World Championships 2
January 20–25, 2009 2009 European Championships 3
December 24–28, 2008 2009 Russian Championships 2
December 10–14, 2008 2008–2009 Grand Prix Final 6
November 20–23, 2008 2008 Cup of Russia 2
October 30 – November 2, 2008 2008 Skate Canada 1
October 15–19, 2008 2008 Coupe de Nice 2
2007–2008 season
Date Event SP FS Total
March 16–23, 2008 2008 World Championships 3
January 21–27, 2008 2008 European Championships 4
January 3–7, 2008 2008 Russian Championships 1
December 13–16, 2007 2007–2008 Grand Prix Final 6
November 22–25, 2007 2007 Cup of Russia 4
November 1–4, 2007 2007 Skate Canada International 3
October 18–21, 2007 2007 Coupe de Nice 1
2006–2007 season
Date Event SP FS Total
March 19–25, 2007 2007 World Championships 4
November 23–26, 2006 2006 Cup of Russia 3
November 9–12, 2006 2006 Coupe de Nice 1
  • World record highlighted in bold

With Vasilieva[edit]

Event 2005–2006
World Junior Championships 6th
Junior Grand Prix, Poland 2nd
Russian Championships 6th
Russian Junior Championships 1st


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  26. ^ Распоряжение Президента Российской Федерации от 5 марта 2010 года № 135-рп «О поощрении»
  27. ^ Постановление Правительства Санкт-Петербурга от 2 февраля 2010 г. № 75 «О присвоении почётного звания „Лучший в спорте Санкт-Петербурга“»
  28. ^ Приказ Минспорттуризма № 103 – нг от 02.08.2010 О присвоении почётного спортивного звания "Заслуженный мастер спорта России"
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External links[edit]

Media related to Alexander Smirnov at Wikimedia Commons