Usova and Platov, Ice Dance

Evening of Champions Figure Skating Show, October 1998
ice skating photos copyright 1998 by Tracy Marks
p.1 of 21 Usova and Platov photo pages

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About Usova and Platov:

Maia Usova and Evgeny Platov became ice dance partners
during August 1998, as Maia Usova's former partner,
Alexander (Sasha) Zhulin, teamed up with Evgeny's
former partner, Pasha Grishuk. Usova and Zhulin had
previously won dozens of competition, including the silver
medal in the 1994 Olympics, and bronze in 1992 (whereas
Grishuk and Platov won gold).

For years, the figure skating world rocked with gossip about
these two incredibly talented ice dancing couples, since
Zhulin had had an affair with Grishuk at the 1994 Olympics,
and subsequently separated from his partner and wife,
Maia, while still continuing to skate with her. For Maia,
skating with Sasha since their separation had been very
difficult; she now feels revitalized by her new partnership
with Evgeny Platov.

The November 1998 issue of the International Figure Skating
magazine had an in-depth article on Gritschuk and Platov.

Excerpt from Time Magazine online:
reported by Alice Park
Russians PASHA GRISHUK and EVGENY PLATOV, right, the only ice dancers
ever to win back-to-back Olympic gold medals, have always been as odd a
match off the ice as they were  perfect on it. Pasha is, well, flamboyant. She
models herself after Marilyn Monroe, went through the torturous process of
changing her name from Oksana to Pasha--Russian for passion--and has made
no secret of her Hollywood dreams. Now, apparently, Evgeny has decided her
virtuosity on the ice is not enough compensation for her tempestuousness off it.
On July 19, at the end of an America-wide tour, he told Pasha that he had
decided to skate with a rival, MAIA USOVA. At least he tried to. Pasha
disappeared. He has tried calling since, and she has hung up on him. She
claims  he hasn't called. Maybe it hurts most because Pasha had a very public
affair with Maia's husband and broke up her rival's marriage. "There is sadness
because we are great skaters together," says Evgeny. "But there is relief
because I will have another life that I deserve. I'm expecting a new, happy life
with no stress."

Excerpt from Boston Globe 10/24/98
(article only available now through Globe archives)

Splitting Headaches: Icy Relations Divide Dancers
reported by Peter May    Copyright 1998 Globe Newspaper Company.

Platov said, ''I thought Maya was the best choice for me if I wanted to
continue. She was almost going to quit until I asked her.''

All four skaters now say they are happy again on and off the ice.
''I was wondering whether I could enjoy this again,'' Platov said. ''It is
a different life with Maya. It's a friendly atmosphere, a perfect match.''
Usova agreed. 'It was so, so hard for so many years,'' she said. ''When I
started skating with Evgeny, I felt comfortable after the second practice.
I said to myself, I am really back. Now I can enjoy skating again.'''

 The skaters have not seen their former partners since the summer split,
but that could change in December, when they may compete against
each other in Washington.

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This page and all photos are copyright 1998 by Tracy Marks.
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