Elena Valova

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Elena Valova
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1987-1002-020, Jelena Walowa, Oleg Wassiljew.jpg
Valova and Vasiliev in 1987
Personal information
Full name Elena Aleksandrovna Valova
Country represented Soviet Union / Russia
Born (1963-01-04) 4 January 1963 (age 54)
Leningrad, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Height 1.55 m (5 ft 1 in)[1]
Former partner Oleg Vasiliev
Former coach Tamara Moskvina
Retired 1988

Elena Aleksandrovna Valova (Russian: Елена Александровна Валова; born 4 January 1963) is a Russian former pair skater who competed internationally for the Soviet Union. With partner Oleg Vasiliev, she is the 1984 Olympic champion, 1988 Olympic silver medalist, and three-time World Champion (1983, 1985, 1988). Their coach throughout their career was Tamara Moskvina.

Personal life[edit]

Valova was born in Leningrad, Russian SFSR, to parents Alla Borisovna Valova and Aleksander Dmitrievich Valov. She graduated from the P.F. Lesgaft University of Sports. She and Vasiliev were married from 1984–1992.[1] Valova is now remarried to German Galusha and has a son, Roman, born in 1996. She moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1997 and currently lives in Moon Township.


Valova/Vasiliev in Karl-Marx-Stadt, 1983

Valova began training at age seven under Tatiana Mishina, Alexei Mishin, and Nina Monahova. As a pair skater, she was coached by Tamara Moskvina, who partnered her with Oleg Vasiliev.[2] The pair trained in Leningrad (Saint Petersburg).[3]

Valova/Vasiliev's breakthrough came in the 1982–83 season. They won bronze at the Prize of Moscow News, gold at the 1982 Skate America, and then silver at the 1983 European Championships. The pair concluded their season by winning their first World title. They missed the 1983 national championships due to Vasiliev's broken jaw.[3]

In 1984, Valova/Vasiliev won their first European title and then took gold at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo. The deaths of several Soviet government officials, including one during the Olympics, cast a pall over the Soviet team and the athletes were told not to show too much joy.[3] The pair took silver at their final event of the season, the 1984 World Championships.

In 1985, the pair won gold at both the European and World Championships but 1986 saw the emergence of the young Moscow pair Ekaterina Gordeeva / Sergei Grinkov. Although Valova/Vasiliev were awarded gold at the 1986 Europeans, they finished second to the Muscovites at both the 1986 and 1987 Worlds.

In their final amateur season, Valova/Vasiliev took silver at the 1988 Winter Olympics behind Gordeeva/Grinkov but then prevailed over the reigning Olympic champions at the 1988 World Championships. After winning their third World title, Valova/Vasiliev retired from ISU competition. After performing for a year in Igor Bobrin's ice theatre, they signed a U.S. contract – the first Soviets to do so without losing their citizenship.[3] The pair performed together in various shows and events until the end of 1997.[2][3]

Valova was awarded the Order of Friendship of Peoples (1984).[4] She represented VSS Trud.

She currently teaches skating at the Robert Morris University Island Sports Center. She coached Kylie Gleason / Taylor Toth, who were the 2002 U.S. champions in juvenile pairs and the 2003 U.S. champions in intermediate pairs.


(with Vasiliev)


Season Short program[5][6] Free skating[5][6] Exhibition[5][6]
  • Stampede soundtrack

  • Romance
    (from The Blizzard)
    by Georgy Sviridov
1986–1987 Georgian folk:
  • Anthem of Leningrad
    Russian: Гимн Ленинграду

  • Romance
    (from The Blizzard)
    by Georgy Sviridov
  • Romance
    (from The Blizzard)
    by Georgy Sviridov
  • Shurale
    by Färit Yarullin

  • Baba-Yaga
    (from Pictures at an Exhibition)
    by Modest Mussorgsky

  • Sibaney
  • Get Back
  • Für Elise
    by Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Stairway to Heaven
  • Solveig's Song
    by Edvard Grieg

  • Circus
  • Scheherazade
    by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

  • Demon


Programs [5][6]

  • The Story of My Life
    by Michael Crawford


(with Vasiliev)


Event 1979–80 1980–81 1981–82 1982–83 1983–84 1984–85 1985–86 1986–87 1987–88
Winter Olympics 1st 2nd
World Championships 1st 2nd 1st 2nd 2nd 1st
European Championships 2nd 1st 1st 1st 2nd
Skate America 3rd 1st
NHK Trophy 1st
Nebelhorn Trophy 1st
Prize of Moscow News 6th 3rd 3rd 1st 2nd
St. Gervais 2nd
Soviet Championships 3rd 2nd 1st

Later years[edit]

Event 1989–90 1990–91 1991–92 1992–93 1993–94 1994–95 1997–98
World Professional Championships 2nd 4th 4th 4th 3rd
World Challenge of Champions 2nd 5th 4th 2nd 3rd
US Open 5th 2nd 5th
Masters Miko 3rd
Canadian Professional Championships 4th
Legends 2nd


  1. ^ a b c "Yelena Valova". sports-reference.com. 
  2. ^ a b Mittan, Barry (22 February 2004). "Vasiliev Guides Top Russian Pairs". Golden Skate. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Simonenko, Andrei (5 July 2013). Олег Васильев: каждый мой шаг в жизни - против движения [Oleg Vasiliev: I was always going against the flow]. rsport.ru (in Russian). 
  4. ^ Panorama of the 1984 Sports Year (in Russian). Moscow: Fizkultura i sport. 1985. p. 37. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Programs". valova-vasiliev.com. Archived from the original on 17 February 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c d Программы (in Russian). valova-vasiliev.com. Archived from the original on 5 February 2012. 
  7. ^ "Elena Valova & Oleg Vassiliev". Pairs On Ice. Archived from the original on 7 October 2007. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Elena Valova at Wikimedia Commons