Veronica Pershina

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Veronica Pershina
Personal information
Country represented Soviet Union
Born (1966-12-20) December 20, 1966 (age 49)
Sverdlovsk, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Former partner Marat Akbarov
Former coach Irina Rodnina, Stanislav Zhuk
Former training locations Moscow
Retired 1986

Veronica Pershina (Russian: Вероника Першина, born December 20, 1966) is a former competitive pair skater who competed for the Soviet Union. With Marat Akbarov, she is the 1985 European bronze medalist and 1979 World Junior champion.


Pershina teamed up with Marat Akbarov in 1975.[1] The pair moved to Moscow in 1978 to train with Stanislav Zhuk.[1] They won the World Junior title in 1979 ahead of Larisa Selezneva / Oleg Makarov.[2]

In 1980, Pershina/Akbarov made their senior World Championship debut, placing 6th. The following season, they won the Soviet national title ahead of Irina Vorobieva / Igor Lisovski. The pair changed coaches to Irina Rodnina in 1982.[1]

Pershina/Akbarov were gold medalists at the 1982 Prize of Moscow News and 1983 NHK Trophy. In 1985, they were sent to their fourth European Championships and won the bronze medal.[3] They took silver at the Skate Canada International in their final season.

From 1986 until 1990, Pershina performed with the Russian All Stars under the direction of Tatiana Tarasova. She toured worldwide with Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean from 1988 until 1990. On January 24, 1990, Pershina defected to the United States rather than return from New York to London with the Torvill & Dean / Russian All Stars tour group. Others who defected with her were her future husband Igor Shpilband, future US ice dancing champion Gorsha Sur, and former World Junior ice dancing champion Elena Krykanova.

Pershina coaches in Ann Arbor, Michigan.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Pershina was formerly married to Igor Shpilband. Their daughter, Ekaterina "Katia" Shpilband, won the intermediate ladies division at the 2010 US Junior Championships and qualified for the 2013 US Championships on the junior level.


(with Akbarov)

Event 1977-78 1978–79 1979–80 1980–81 1981–82 1982–83 1983–84 1984–85 1985–86
Worlds 6th 6th 6th 5th 8th 6th
Europeans 5th 4th 4th 3rd
Skate Canada 2nd
NHK Trophy 4th 1st 2nd
Moscow News 2nd 2nd 1st 2nd 2nd 2nd
International: Junior
Junior Worlds 1st
Soviet Champ. 1st 2nd 2nd 3rd 3rd
Spartakiada 2nd (Jrs.)
USSR Cup 1st


  1. ^ a b c "Marat Akbarov". Wheaton Ice Skating Academy. Archived from the original on January 8, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "World Junior Figure Skating Championships: Pairs" (PDF). International Skating Union. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 4, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Russians Retain Pairs Skate Title". UPI. The New York Times. February 6, 1985. 
  4. ^ "Veronica Pershina". Ann Arbor Figure Skating Club. April 12, 2008. Archived from the original on January 8, 2014. 
  5. ^ Першина Вероника [Veronica Pershina] (in Russian). 
  6. ^ Першина Вероника [Veronica Pershina] (in Russian). 
  7. ^ "Pershina & Akbarov". Pairs on Ice. Archived from the original on October 7, 2007.