Ice dancing is a discipline where sport is closely intertwined with choreography, art and it’s hard to know when one thing ends and the other begins. As in any creative field, emotions and relationships between people play a large role here. Communication between a man and a woman makes an explosive situation in any pair of athletes, and often the most successful tandems break up due to personal clashes.

Elena Ilinykh is a figure skater whose biography consists not only of sporting achievements, but also dramatic stories of partings and returns.


The future star of figure skating was born in Kazakh Aktau in 1994. As it often happens, the girl brought her grandmother to the sport. At first, Elena Ilinykh worked in an ordinary group of health, but then experienced coaches advised to give her to the sports group of figure skating.

At the age of four, her long journey begins.Elena Ilinykh: biography, photos and interesting factsAt first, Lena practices at Sokolniki under Lyubov Maleva, then goes to Moskvich, where Natalya Dubinskaya becomes her mentor. The girl is progressing rapidly, as early as 10 years in her arsenal several triple jumps. The first victories at the championships of Russia in the younger age category come. However, Elena is most attracted to ice dancing. Nikita Katsalapov also studied in the same group. Thus, in 2005, a duet was formed, which in the future will see big victories and grandiose scandals.

The difficult nature of the two former singles leads to frequent quarrels and clashes. A year later, Elena Ilinykh decides to drastically change his life and leaves Nikita, having moved to the USA. Not finding a worthy partner there, in 2008 she returned and reunited with Katsalapov. Mentors become Alexander Zhulin and Oleg Volkov.

Junior way

The first victory of revived pairs follow in 2009. After winning the Russian Cup in 2009 in the Junior national team of Russia hits a duet, where Elena ilinykh Shine. Skater together with Nikita convincingly performs on the stages of Grand Prix in Hungary and Poland. Once in the final of the entire series, they are second only to another Russian pair – Monica/Halevine. They also lose at the junior championship of Russia in 2010.

Fully focusing on training, Ilinykh / Katsalapov soon significantly outpace their competitors in the national team. At the Junior World Championships in The Hague with a huge advantage, they bypass all competitors and get well-deserved gold medals.

Even then, experts note the excellent technical equipment of this pair. Most of the executable elements - the fourth level of complexity.

The first years of adult career

Turning to a great junior age, the guys do not slow down. Skaters debut at the Grand Prix in 2010, where they occupy the fourth place. Interestingly, a pack for free dance Elena specially made in the Bolshoi Theater.

In its first national championship, they managed to finish third and to qualify for the European championship. There they took fourth place, but the most important issue for yourself ilinykh and Katsalapov decided I qualified for the world Cup along with the lead pair of the country. Finishing in seventh place, they adequately complete their first season. Many fans and experts pay attention on this spectacular and talented girl like Elena ilinykh. Photo of the skater appear on the front pages of special editions dedicated to the sport.

Despite a successful start, at the end of the season, athletes change mentors and go to train to Nikolai Morozov.

Pre-olympic cycle

The duet continues to maintain its high level.   There are victories at the Grand Prix, silver medals of the national championship. At the 2012 World Championships, athletes rank fifth, becoming the best pair from Russia.

A strong character is what distinguishes Elena Ilinykh. The figure skater at the NHK Trophy tournament in 2012 performs with severe food poisoning and at the same time rides on the same level. Their duet takes second place and gets a ticket to the final of the series.

The leading pair of the country remains the duo Bobrova and Solovyov. Elena and Nikita are constantly a little behind. There are medals at the championships of Russia and Europe, but some smallness is missing before the victories. Sometimes interfere with their own mistakes.

Triumph in Sochi

At the Olympics in Sochi, ilinykh and Katsalapov are sent to the second pair of countries. Their claim on the free dance in the team competition, where they roll back the program to the music of Tchaikovsky. Setting a personal record on the typed points, they become Olympic Champions, along with the entire figure skating team in the team standings.

The most important tests were waiting for them in team competitions. The main struggle unfolded between the best couples of recent years from the USA and Canada. In this situation, when the judges deliberately gave the first two places to the favorites, the third place was a huge achievement.

Given that the strongest duets Davis / White and Virtue / Moir ended their careers at the Olympic Games, the couple was seriously taken to be the world's leading for the coming years.

Elena Ilinykh and Ruslan Zhiganshin

After the success in Sochi, clashes between two athletes with difficult characters begin again.In a press constantly there are rumors that Nikita Katsalapov seriously trying with another partner. An angry Helen finds out the relationship, and it all ends in April 2014, the couple ceases to exist. Two of the Duo's exchange partners. Victoria Sinitsina goes to Katsalapov and Elena ilinykh is sent to create a new pair with her former partner Ruslan Zhiganshin. Many experts reacted negatively to such a reshuffle, noting the vague prospects of the newly created duets.

In their first season, Elena Ilinykh and Ruslan Zhiganshin become champions of Russia, but they failed to win awards at international tournaments. Now they are in the shadow of the leading couple of the country and they can only hope for the talent and will to win Elena, who is still one of the talented figure skaters of the planet.

Spectacular appearance and charm - this is what distinguishes Elena Ilinykh. Photo skaters on the Internet are gaining thousands of views, many fans of figure skating are the personal fans of athletes. In any couple, she is in the spotlight and becomes the main character.