Tanja Szewczenko

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Tanja Szewczenko
Tanja Szewczenko01.jpg
Tanja Szewczenko in 2007
Personal information
Country represented Germany
Born (1977-07-26) 26 July 1977 (age 38)
Düsseldorf, West Germany
Height 1.62 m (5 ft 4 in)
Retired 2000
Tanja Szewczenko bei der Shrek - Das Musical Premiere, 19.10.'14, Düsseldorf

Tanja Szewczenko (born 26 July 1977) is a German figure skater and actress. She is the 1994 World bronze medalist, 1997 Champions Series Final silver medalist, 1998 European bronze medalist, and 1993 World Junior bronze medalist.

Personal life[edit]

Tanja Szewczenko was born to Vera Küke, an ethnic German from Russia, and a Ukrainian father who left the family when she was two years old.[1] She and Norman Jeschke have a daughter, Jona Valentina, who was born on Friday 25 February 2011.[2][3]

Competitive career[edit]

Szewczenko won the bronze medal at the 1993 World Junior Championships.[4]

In 1993, at the age of 16, Szewczenko won her first international competition at the Nations Cup in Germany, defeating the reigning world champion Oksana Baiul. A few weeks later, she won her first national title, defeating former Olympic champion Katarina Witt. Szewczenko competed at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. During a practice session before the long program, she collided with Oksana Baiul, sustaining a bruised right hip and abdomen.[5] She finished 6th at the event.[6] Szewczenko won a bronze medal at the 1994 World Championships.[7]

After finishing 6th at the 1996 Worlds, Szewczenko struggled for 18 months with a pair of viral infections which caused her to sleep 18 hours a day.[8] She made a comeback in autumn 1997, winning on home ice at the 1997 Sparkassen Cup on Ice in Gelsenkirchen, Germany over eventual World champion, Irina Slutskaya. She went on to defeat former World champion Chen Lu and eventual World champion Maria Butyrskaya at the 1997 NHK Trophy in Nagano, Japan, and in doing so, earned a spot to the 1997–98 Champions Series Final in Munich, Germany. She won the silver medal behind American Tara Lipinski. Her tonsils were removed in December 1997.[8]

Szewczenko won a bronze medal at the 1998 European Championships in Milan, Italy.[9] She contracted a severe flu at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan and withdrew from the event.[10][11] She finished 9th at the 1998 World Championships in Minneapolis, Minnesota a month later.

Szewczenko retired from competitive figure skating in 2000 to concentrate on modelling and acting. She is the last German ladies' singles skater to medal at an ISU Championships.

Later career[edit]

Szewczenko posed for the German edition of Playboy magazine in April 1999 and March 2007. Beginning in 2002, she played the role of Katinka "Kati" Ritter on the German soap opera "Unter Uns." Her last appearance on the soap was December 5, 2005. From September 2006 until 2009, Szewczenko appeared in the German soap opera "Alles was zählt" on RTL Television. She played the role of Diana Sommer, an inline courier, who trained as a figure skater alongside the wealthy daughter of a fitness center mogul.[12] Norman Jeschke played her pair skating partner.[12] In January 2009, Szewczenko left the series to return to show skating, joining the "Holiday On Ice" show with Jeschke.


Season Short program Free skating Exhibition
  • Ballet Russe
  • Man of La Mancha


Event 1992–93 1993–94 1994–95 1995–96 1997–98 1998–99 1999–00
Olympics 6th WD
Worlds 7th 3rd WD 6th 9th
Europeans 4th 5th 4th 5th 3rd WD
CS Final 2nd
GP Nations Cup 8th 1st 3rd 5th 1st
GP NHK Trophy 4th 1st
Karl Schäfer 2nd
Skate Israel 1st
Piruetten 5th
International: Junior
Junior Worlds 3rd 4th
German Champ. 3rd 1st 1st 2nd 1st 2nd 3rd
GP = Became part of Champions Series in 1995–96 season; renamed Grand Prix in 1998–99
WD = Withdrew


  1. ^ "GS Starportrait: Tanja Szewczenko". GQ (German edition). Archived from the original on 25 November 2012. 
  2. ^ "Tanja Szewczenko ist Mama geworden" [Tanja Szewczenko is a mother] (in German). unterhaltung.t-online.de. 26 February 2011. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. 
  3. ^ "Tanja Szewczenko: Sie zeigt uns ihr Baby!" [Tanja Szewczenko shows us her baby]. Bunte (in German). 14 April 2011. Retrieved 17 April 2011. 
  4. ^ "World Junior Figure Skating Championships: Ladies" (PDF). International Skating Union. 
  5. ^ Longman, Jere (25 February 1994). "Baiul Is Injured In Skating Collision". The New York Times. 
  6. ^ "Tanja Szewczenko". sports-reference.com. 
  7. ^ "World Figure Skating Championships: Ladies" (PDF). International Skating Union. 
  8. ^ a b Pucin, Diane (1 February 1998). "Looking For A Gold Medal - And Something More". Philadelphia Inquirer. 
  9. ^ "European Figure Skating Championships: Ladies" (PDF). International Skating Union. 
  10. ^ Pucin, Diane (16 February 1998). "Skater Szewczenko Out Of Competition". Philadelphia Inquirer. 
  11. ^ Sullivan, Kevin (19 February 1998). "The Flu Plagues Olympics". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 25 November 2012. Germany's top-ranked figure skater, Tanja Szewczenko, withdrew from the Games before her event started. She had been sick with flu for more than a week and chose to return home to recuperate[…] 
  12. ^ a b Elfman, Lois (28 January 2010). "Szewczenko rediscovers her love of skating". icenetwork.com. Retrieved 23 September 2010. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Tanja Szewczenko at Wikimedia Commons