Galina Zmievskaya

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Zmievskaya with her pupil Johnny Weir at the 2008 Grand Prix Final.

Galina Yakovlevna Zmievskaya (born 1952) is a Ukrainian-American figure skating coach in the United States, formerly based in Odessa, Ukraine. She started her career when Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union.


Zmievskaya is an internationally known coach first based in Odessa, Ukraine. She was honored as a Merited Coach of the Soviet Union and, after its break-up, as a Merited Coach of Ukraine. Zmievskaya's husband Nikolai was a building contractor in Odessa.[1] Zmievskaya and her husband had two daughters: Nina and Galina, known as Galya.

Zmievskaya began coaching the young Oksana Baiul in 1992. Her grandparents had died, followed by her mother in 1991, and Baiul was estranged from her father. Zmievskaya acted as her guardian from 1992 and the girl lived with her family in Odessa. Daughter Nina later married Viktor Petrenko.[2] She has created choreography for many of Zmievskaya's students.

Zmievskaya's students have included Ukrainian Olympic champions Viktor Petrenko and Oksana Baiul, World Junior champion Vladimir Petrenko, U.S. national champion Scott Davis, and Italian champion Silvia Fontana. She also worked with Viacheslav Zagorodniuk and Takeshi Honda early in their careers, and briefly coached Georgian skater Elene Gedevanishvili in 2007[3] and Swiss skater Stéphane Lambiel in 2008.[4] She began coaching American skater and three-time U.S. national champion Johnny Weir in the summer of 2007.[5]

Following Baiul's win at the 1994 Winter Olympics, Zmievskaya accepted an invitation to go to the United States to coach at the International Skating Center of Connecticut, in Simsbury. after a decade working there,[6] she relocated to Wayne, New Jersey in 2005, along with her daughter Nina and son-in-law Viktor Petrenko. She coached at the Ice Vault Arena.[7] She now coaches at the Ice House in Hackensack, New Jersey.

In January 2015, Oksana Baiul publicly accused her former coach Galina Zmievskaya, along with Viktor Petrenko and their manager, Joseph Lemire, of fraud, claiming they 'have been stealing money' from her for more than a decade.[8]


  1. ^ Life Magazine, June 1994: Vol. 17, Issue 6, p. 72 "Oksana: Happy at Last"
  2. ^ Sports Illustrated, February 7, 1994: Volume 80, Issue 5, p. 78 "Window on the World: Having Triumphed Over Tragedy, Oksana Baiul Eyes the Games"
  3. ^ "Skaters: Elene Gedevanishvili". IceNetwork. May 15, 2008.
  4. ^ "Lambiel Makes Coach Swap to Raise Stakes". Swiss Info. June 6, 2008.
  5. ^ "New Coach For Johnny Weir: Three-Time U.S. Men's Champion to Train With Galina Zmievskaya". International Figure Skating Magazine. June 15, 2007. Archived from the original on 2010-04-12.
  6. ^ Rabinovitz, Jonathan (February 2, 1997). "When Olympic Champions Moved In, They Put Simsbury on the World Map". The New York Times. Retrieved January 4, 2011.
  7. ^ "Petrenko Brings Added Prestige to Ice Vault". MCE Skating.
  8. ^ Бабчук, Роберт (March 5, 2015). ""Оксана Баюл: "Змиевская, Петренко и Джозеф Лемир украли у меня миллионы долларов"" [Oksana Baiul: "Zmievskaya and Petrenko stole millions from me"] (in Russian)". Retrieved March 5, 2015.