Oleg Vasiliev (figure skater)

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Oleg Vasiliev
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1987-1002-020, Jelena Walowa, Oleg Wassiljew.jpg
Valova and Vasiliev in 1987
Personal information
Full name Oleg Kimovich Vasiliev
Country represented Soviet Union / Russia
Born (1959-11-22) 22 November 1959 (age 57)
Leningrad, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Height 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)[1] – 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)[2]
Former partner Elena Valova
Former coach Tamara Moskvina
Retired 1988

Oleg Kimovich Vasiliev (Russian: Олег Кимович Васильев; born 22 November 1959) is a Russian former pair skater who competed internationally for the Soviet Union. With partner Elena Valova, he 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. After retiring from competition, Vasiliev became a coach, leading the pair of Tatiana Totmianina / Maxim Marinin to the 2006 Olympic title.

Personal life[edit]

Vasiliev was born in Leningrad (modern-day Saint Petersburg), Russian SFSR, to parents Ludmila Konstantinovna Vasilieva, a nurse, and Kim Mikhailovich Vasiliev. He graduated from the Institute for Physical Culture in Saint Petersburg.[3]

Vasiliev moved to Chicago, Illinois in December 1997.[3][2] He was married to Valova from 1984 to 1992.[1] He later married a Saint Petersburg resident named Valentina (divorced in 2000), with whom he has a daughter, Katia.[4][2] His first daughter was born c. 1994.[5]

Around 2013, Vasiliev married his third wife, Natalia,[5] who is from Moscow.[6] As of August 2016, the couple lives in Moscow with their daughter Varvara (born c. 2014).[5]


Competitive career[edit]

Valova/Vasiliev in Karl-Marx-Stadt, 1983

Vasiliev's parents decided to introduce him to skating when he was five because he had had pneumonia several times as a child and his doctor recommended an outdoor activity.[3][2] As a single skater, Vasiliev won a Junior national title.

Coach Tamara Moskvina invited Vasiliev to switch to pair skating several times before he agreed, at age 18.[3][2] Initially, he was physically ill-suited for the discipline and had much work to develop his muscles.[2] He and his first partner, Larisa Selezneva, argued incessantly and split after three months.[2] Moskvina then paired him with Elena Valova, with whom he continued to train in Leningrad (Saint Petersburg).[3][2]

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.[2]

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.[2] 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.[2] The pair performed together in various shows and events until the end of 1997.[3][2]

Vasiliev was awarded the Order of Friendship of Peoples.[7]

Coaching career[edit]

Vasiliev (far left) in 2004 with Tatiana Totmianina / Maxim Marinin.

Vasiliev initially had no interest in coaching but changed his mind.[2] He coached one season for the Latvian federation and then about two years for the French federation near Paris.[2] Since 1998, Vasiliev has coached in Chicago and Saint Petersburg.[2] During his time in the United States, he worked at the Oakton Ice Arena in Park Ridge, Illinois.[8] He has coached the following skaters:


(with Valova)


Season Short program[11][12] Free skating[11][12] Exhibition[11][12]
  • Stampede soundtrack

  • Romance
    (from The Blizzard)
    by Georgy Sviridov
1986–87 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 [11][12]

  • The Story of My Life
    by Michael Crawford


Amateur career with Valova[edit]

Event 79–80 80–81 81–82 82–83 83–84 84–85 85–86 86–87 87–88
Winter Olympics 1st 2nd
World Champ. 1st 2nd 1st 2nd 2nd 1st
European Champ. 2nd 1st 1st 1st 2nd
Skate America 3rd 1st
NHK Trophy 1st
Nebelhorn Trophy 1st
Moscow News 6th 3rd 3rd 1st 2nd
St. Gervais 2nd
Soviet Champ. 3rd 2nd 1st

Professional career with Valova[edit]

Event 89–90 90–91 91–92 92–93 93–94 94–95 97–98
World Professional Champ. 2nd 4th 4th 4th 3rd
World Challenge of Champions 2nd 5th 4th 2nd 3rd
US Open 5th 2nd 5th
Masters Miko 3rd
Canadian Professional Champ. 4th
Legends 2nd


  1. ^ a b c "Oleg Vasilyev". Sports Reference. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p 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). 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Mittan, Barry (22 February 2004). "Vasiliev Guides Top Russian Pairs". Golden Skate. 
  4. ^ Yazeva, Elena (25 November 2009). Я тренировал психически больного человека! (in Russian). mk-piter.ru. Retrieved 3 September 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c Elfman, Lois (11 August 2016). "Vasiliev happy to be living, coaching back in Russia". IceNetwork.com. 
  6. ^ Lisovsky, Artem (23 March 2014). Олег Васильев: Петербург может потерять парное фигурное катание [Oleg Vasiliev: Saint Petersburg may lose pair skating]. fontanka.ru (in Russian). 
  7. ^ Panorama of the 1984 Sports Year (in Russian). Moscow: Fizkultura i sport. 1985. p. 37. 
  8. ^ Geroulis, Dean (13 February 2002). "Skaters' success pumps up rink's Olympic pedigree". Chicago Tribune. 
  9. ^ Simonenko, Andrei (9 April 2014). Олег Васильев: Базарова хоть сейчас готова снова кататься на Олимпийских играх [Oleg Vasiliev: Bazarova even now is ready to compete at the Olympics]. R-Sport (in Russian). 
  10. ^ Vaytsekhovskaya, Elena (30 April 2014). Энберт ушел от Гербольд и Васильева к Даванковой и Мозер [Enbert left Gerboldt and Vasiliev for Davankova and Mozer]. Sport Express (in Russian). 
  11. ^ a b c d "Programs". valova-vasiliev.com. Archived from the original on 17 February 2010. 
  12. ^ a b c d Программы (in Russian). valova-vasiliev.com. Archived from the original on 5 February 2012. 
  13. ^ "Elena Valova & Oleg Vassiliev". Pairs On Ice. Archived from the original on 7 October 2007. 
  14. ^ Васильев Олег Кимович [Oleg Kimovich Vasiliev]. fskate.ru (in Russian). 
  15. ^ Васильев Олег Кимович [Oleg Kimovich Vasiliev]. solovieff.ru (in Russian). 

External links[edit]

Media related to Oleg Vassiliev at Wikimedia Commons