Irina Rodnina in 2010
|Full name||Irina Konstantinovna Rodnina|
|Country represented||Soviet Union|
September 12, 1949 |
Moscow, Soviet Union
|Height||5' (152 cm)|
|Former partner||Alexei Ulanov
|Former coach||Tatiana Tarasova Stanislav Zhuk|
|Skating club||Armed Forces sports society|
Irina Konstantinovna Rodnina (Russian: Ирина Константиновна Роднина, born September 12, 1949) is one of the most successful figure skaters and the only pair skater to win 10 successive World Championships (1969–78) and three successive Olympic gold medals (1972, 1976, 1980). She initially competed with Alexei Ulanov and later teamed up with Alexander Zaitsev. She is the first pair skater to win the Olympic title with two different partners, followed only by Artur Dmitriev.
In her pre-school years, Irina Rodnina suffered from pneumonia eleven times; deciding to enroll her in an activity, in 1954 her parents brought her to her first skating rink, in the Pryamikov Children Park in Moscow. Since the sixth form of secondary school, age 13, she trained at Children and Youth Sports School of CSKA on Leningradsky Prospekt.
By 1963, Rodnina had begun skating with her first partner Oleg Vlasov, coached by Sonia and Milan Valun. In 1964, her coach became Stanislav Zhuk, who paired her with Alexei Ulanov. They won four consecutive World and European titles. Rodnina / Ulanov won their first World title in 1969, ahead of Tamara Moskvina / Alexei Mishin. They won their next two World titles, 1970 and 1971, ahead of silver medalists Lyudmila Smirnova / Andrei Suraikin. However, Ulanov fell in love with Smirnova, and prior to the 1972 Olympics, the couple made the decision to skate together the following season. Rodnina / Ulanov went on to compete at the 1972 Olympics where they captured the gold. They then prepared for their last competition together, the 1972 World Championships. While practicing together a day before the start of the competition, the pair had an accident on a lift and Rodnina ended up in hospital with a concussion and an intracranial hematoma. Despite the accident, they had a strong showing in the short program, receiving some 6.0s. In the long program, Rodnina became faint and dizzy but it was enough for their fourth World title. Ulanov continued his career with Smirnova, while Rodnina considered retirement.
In April 1972, her coach Stanislav Zhuk suggested she team up with the young Leningrad skater Alexander Zaitsev, who had good jumping technique and quickly learned the elements. Their music stopped during their short program at the 1973 World Championships, possibly due to a Czech worker acting in retaliation for the suppression of the Prague Spring. Known for intense concentration, they finished the program in silence, earning a standing ovation and a gold medal upon completion, ahead of Smirnova / Ulanov, who they again defeated in 1974.
In 1974, Rodnina / Zaitsev left Zhuk, with whom the working relationship had become strained, to train with Tatiana Tarasova. They won six consecutive World titles together, as well as seven European gold medals, and won their first Olympic title together in 1976. Rodnina / Zaitsev did not compete during the 1978–79 season because she was pregnant with their son who was born on February 23, 1979. They returned in 1980 to capture their second Olympic title together and Rodnina's third. They then retired from competitive skating.
Throughout her career, Rodnina competed internationally for the Soviet Union and represented the Armed Forces sports society at the national level. With her partners, she won ten World Championships and three consecutive Olympic gold medals from 1971 to 1980, along with eleven European titles, making her the most successful pair skater in history.
Rodnina coached numerous elite Soviet skaters and taught at the University of Moscow. From 1990–2002, she coached in the United States and led the Czech team of Radka Kovaříková / René Novotný to a world title.
Since 2005, Rodnina is a member of the Public Chamber of Russia. On December 17 2012, Rodnina supported Dima Yakovlev Law, the law in the Russian Parliament banning adoption of Russian orphans by citizens of the US.
Rodnina graduated from the Central Institute of Physical Culture. Her first marriage was to Alexander Zaitsev, with whom she has a son of the same name, born in 1979. From her second marriage, Rodnina has a daughter, Alyona Minkovski, born in 1986. She is currently divorced. She spent a number of years living in the United States and then moved back to Russia.
On September 13, 2013, Rodnina caused a stir when she tweeted a doctored photo of U.S. President Barack Obama, his mouth full of food, with a photoshopped banana in the image's foreground. She said she was practising her right to free expression, but critics claimed she was making a racist comment about the African-American president.
|Prize of Moscow News||1st||2nd||1st|
|Prize of Moscow News||1st|
Other honours and awards
- Order of the Red Banner of Labour (1972)
- Order of Lenin (1976)
- Order of Merit for the Fatherland, 3rd and 4th classes
- Medal "In Commemoration of the 850th Anniversary of Moscow"
- Inducted into International Women's Sports Hall of Fame (1988)
- Inducted into the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame (1989)
- International Skating Union's Jacques Favart Award
- Sports-reference: Irina Rodnina
- Pushkina, Oksana (October 3, 2004). "Ирина Константиновна Роднина" [Irina Konstantinovna Rodnina]. peoples.ru (in Russian). Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- Malinin, Nikolai (December 1, 2006). "Ирина Роднина: "Я не дачница, я москвичка"" [I'm a Moscovite]. archi.ru (in Russian). Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- "скользящий путь". kommersant.ru (in Russian). December 20, 2004. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- Srebnitskaya, Daria (September 10, 2009). "Роднина – это эпоха" [Rodnina – an era]. russianews.ru (in Russian). Retrieved May 6, 2011.
- Encyclopædia Britannica: Irina Rodnina
- Khavin, Boris (1979). Все об олимпийских играх [All about Olympic Games.] (in Russian) (2nd ed.). Moscow: Fizkultura i sport. p. 575.
- Weir, Fred (November 2, 2005). "Putin's 'chamber': a parallel parliament?". csmonitor.com. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- Lepeshkova, Svetlana (February 25, 2005). "Я больше не хочу стремиться к вершинам. Дайте наконец пожить по-человечески" [Irina Rodnina interview]. gzt.ru (in Russian). peoples.ru. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- Vandenko, Andrei (December 16, 2005). "Иду на вы!" [Irina Rodnina interview]. itogi.ru (in Russian). peoples.ru. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- "Russian MP's Obama with banana picture sparks racism debate". Guardian. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
- Walker, Shaun (16 September 2013). "Russian MP's Obama with banana picture sparks racism debate". The Guardian.
- "Uproar over Russian MP Irina Rodnina's Obama banana pic". News.com.au. 15 September 2013.
- "Tweet on Obama Draws U.S. Rebuke in Russia". The Wall Street Journal. 14 September 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Irina Rodnina.|
- Irina Rodnina on Olympic.org
- Irina Rodnina in Encyclopædia Britannica
- Pairs on Ice: Rodnina and Ulanov
- Pairs on Ice: Rodnina and Zaitsev