Marina Cherkasova

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This article is about the Russian figure skater. For the Russian skier, see Marina Cherkasova (skier).
Marina Cherkasova
Personal information
Full name Marina Evgenievna Cherkasova
Country represented  Soviet Union
Born (1964-11-17) November 17, 1964 (age 50)
Former partner Sergei Shakhrai
Rashid Kadyrkaev
Former coach Stanislav Zhuk
Retired 1982
Olympic medal record
Figure skating
Silver medal – second place 1980 Lake Placid Pairs

Marina Evgenievna Cherkasova (Russian: Марина Евгеньевна Черкасова; born November 17, 1964 in the Soviet Union) is a Russian retired pair skater. With Sergei Shakhrai, she won the 1979 European title at the age of 14. At 15, she was the 1980 Olympic silver medalist and 1980 World champion.


Cherkasova and Shakhrai trained in Moscow with Stanislav Zhuk. Their main rivals included fellow Soviets Irina Rodnina / Alexander Zaitsev, whom they never defeated, Irina Vorobieva / Igor Lisovsky, Marina Pestova / Stanislav Leonovich, and Veronika Pershina / Marat Akbarov.

Cherkasova and Shakhrai were 12 and 18 respectively when they were paired together. Initially, there was a 35 cm height difference between the pair, with Cherkasova only 138 cm tall.[1]

Cherkasova was 12 when the pair captured the bronze at their first European Championship in 1977. Their height difference facilitated innovation in twist and lift elements; they became the first pair to perform the split quadruple twist in 1978. Later, the judging standards were changed to value physical harmony between the partners, which handicapped Cherkasova and her partner.

They won the European title in 1979. By 1980 Cherkasova had grown 20 cm.[1] The change affected their technical elements, however, the pair managed to win silver at 1980 Europeans, silver at the 1980 Olympics, and gold at Worlds.[2][1] Cherkasova was only 15 years old when she competed at the Olympics.

Shakhrai's problems lifting his now 45 kg partner eventually resulted in them splitting up.[1] By 1981, Cherkasova had grown so tall that Shakhrai could no longer effectively lift her. This caused them to miss the medal podium at the World Championship in Hartford, Connecticut, finishing in fourth place.

Cherkasova and Shakhrai continued to train into the 1982 season, however eventually broke up. She briefly paired with Rashid Kadyrkaev, a World junior medalist in 1980 and 1981, but he left to skate with Elena Kvitchenko at the invitation of Igor Moskvin in Leningrad.

Later life[edit]

In 1982, Cherkasova joined the Moscow Ice Ballet where she met her husband.[1] In 1986, they had a son, Vitaly, and a few years later, a daughter named Daria.[1] Cherkasova is now a children's coach in Moscow.[1]

Competitive highlights[edit]

(with Shakhrai)

Event 1976–77 1977–78 1978–79 1979–80 1980–81
Winter Olympic Games 2nd
World Championships 4th 4th 2nd 1st 4th
European Championships 3rd 2nd 1st 2nd 3rd
Soviet Championships 3rd 1st 1st 3rd
Prize of Moscow News 1st


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Makarova, Ekaterina. Лед в сердце [Ice Heart] (in Russian). Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Soviet Skaters Capture Pairs Championship". New York Times (New York). March 13, 1980. p. D18.