Petrov at the Chen Lu International Skating Club
|Full name||Denis Alekseyevich Petrov|
|Country represented|| Unified Team
March 3, 1968 |
Leningrad, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
|Height||1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Former partner||Elena Bechke|
|Former coach||Tamara Moskvina|
|Former choreographer||Alexander Matveev
|Skating club||Profsoyuz Leningrad|
|Competitor for the Unified Team|
Denis Alekseyevich Petrov (Russian: Денис Алексеевич Петров; born March 3, 1968) is a Russian pair skater who competed for the Soviet Union, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and the Unified Team. With partner Elena Bechke, he is the 1992 Olympic silver medalist, 1992 Soviet National Champion, the 1989 World bronze medalist, and the 1991 & 1992 European silver medalist.
Petrov began skating with Elena Bechke, two years his senior, in 1987. They trained with Tamara Moskvina at the Yubileyny Sports Palace in St. Petersburg. They won their first international title at the 1988 Grand Prix International de Paris, although they missed the 1988 Olympic team as they finished fourth at the Soviet Figure Skating Championships. Their first appearance at the Worlds was at the 1989 World Championships. Again, Bechke and Petrov had finished fourth and initially did not qualify for the Soviet Worlds team, but they won a skate-off to replace an injured team. They captured the bronze medal at their first Worlds showing, but they again placed fourth at the Soviet Nationals in 1990, missing the World Championships. In 1991, they placed third at the Nationals and fourth at the Worlds. In 1992, they won the Soviet Nationals over the teams of Evgenia Shishkova and Vadim Naumov and Marina Eltsova and Andrei Bushkov (Bechke and Petrov's training partners and chief rivals, Natalia Mishkutenok and Artur Dmitriev, missed the Nationals but qualified for the Olympics as they were the reigning World Champions). Bechke and Petrov also won silver medals at the 1991 and 1992 European Championships, and the silver medal at the 1992 Olympic Games behind Mishkutenok and Dmitriev. Their choreographer was Alexander Matveev. They retired from amateur competition after the 1992 Worlds.
Bechke and Petrov's moderate success as amateurs stemmed from Bechke's inconsistency in competition due to her nerves, as well as many uninspiring (and some downright questionable) competitive programs, such as the infamous "Dialogue of Cats," created by their coach that did little to showcase their talents. After turning professional in 1992, the pair steadily improved as competitors and performers, and were regarded by many as one of the best professional pairs teams of their time. They won every single competition they entered in 1996, including the World Professional Championships. They placed second at their last World Professional Championships, in 1999.
They toured with Stars on Ice for seven years (1994–2000). They resided and trained as professionals in Lake Placid, New York, before relocating to Richmond, Virginia, in 1997 to train and coach there. Bechke retired from skating after the 1999–2000 season, while Petrov continued to skate with Stars on Ice for another two seasons.
As both amateurs and professionals, Bechke and Petrov were known for their great posture and lines, inventive moves (such as the "Impossible" death spiral), great unison and proximity on their jumps and side-by-side spins, as well as many difficult and intricate lift sequences. Petrov is widely regarded as one of the best male pairs skaters in the sport's history due to his consistency, strength and control, his exquisite lines and lift technique. Scott Hamilton once joked that Petrov is such a strong and consistent skater that he only falls once a year. Hamilton has also said that the Stars on Ice cast nicknamed him "Conan" for getting bigger after every tour, while Kristi Yamaguchi has said that he is also nicknamed "the human crane" because he has lifted just about everybody in the show, including performing a two-hand detroiter with Scott Hamilton in the 2000-2001 group number, "Tunnel Vision."
Bechke and Petrov began dating in 1988, were married in 1990, but divorced in 1995. They remain best friends and both say that their skating and friendship improved, and they even continued to vacation together after their divorce.
On July 8, 2005, Petrov married Chinese figure skater, Chen Lu. They had met on the 1998/1999 Stars on Ice tour. They live in Shenzhen, China, where Chen manages the World Ice Arena and Petrov is the head coach of its skating academy. Their son, Nikita, was born on June 27, 2006, and their daughter, Anastasia, on July 8, 2009, both in Shenzhen.
|Season||Short program||Free skating||Exhibition|
by Andrei Petrov
|1997-1998||Joue Jusqu’au Matin
traditional; Yoska Nemeth
by Anton Rubinstein
|1995-1996||When You Tell Me That You Love Me
by Diana Ross
from the Charlie Chaplin movie
|1993-1994||Morning Mood from Peer Gynt
by Edvard Grieg
|1992-1993||Grand Pas de deux from The Nutcracker
by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
by Edith Piaf (instrumental)
|Grand Pas de deux from The Nutcracker
by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
by Giuseppe Verdi
|1990–1991||Money, Money, Money
(ABBA) performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
|1989-1990||The Dialogue of Cats
by Gioachino Rossini
by Nino Rota
by Nino Rota
|Int. de Paris||1st||1st||3rd|
|US Open Pro||2nd||1st||1st||1st|
|Challenge of Champions||4th||2nd||3rd||3rd||1st|
|Jefferson Pilot Pro||2nd|
|Canadian Professional Championships||1st|
|North American Open||3rd|
- Janofsky, Michael (February 12, 1992). "ALBERTVILLE; No Longer Soviet Skaters, But They Are Still the Best". The New York Times.
- "Denis Petrov". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 28 January 2010.
- "Elena Bechke / Denis Petrov". Pairs on Ice. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007.
- "Chen-Petrov Family to Expand". IFS Magazine. April 29, 2009.
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