In late December my family had the amazing opportunity to go see Ekaterina Gordeeva's "From the Heart" Ice show. This beautiful ice show was phenomenal and beyond any and all of my expectations. The artistry was astounding and the skaters did a phenomenal job and the best that I have seen at Lake Placid's Olympic Center.
The show had brought together not only Ekaterina Gordeeva and her husband Ilia Kulik and their daughters, but a star studded cast that included many fellow Olympic medalists.
As a gal who has loved and appreciated the sport of ice skating since I was a little girl this evening was a true ice skating royalty cast that included Scott Hamilton, Kristi Yamaguchi, Meryl Davis & Charlie White, David Pelletier, Paul Wylie, Yuka Sator and several others.
If you have enjoyed ice skating for a couple of decades that you know how much those names mean to the sport of ice skating. This night was a special evening for those that love ice skating and the Lake Placid Community as Ekaterina Gordeeva returned to say thank you to her fans for their support and to honor her late husband (and figure skating partner) Sergei Grinkov with her friends.
Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov (or "G & G" as they were affectionately known in ice skating world) were the 1988 and 1994 Olympic Pairs Gold Medalists and four-time world champions from Russia. They were universally known and recognized and deeply respected as the greatest figure skating pair team of all time.
They shared a love of not only skating together but fell in love off the ice and were married in 1991.
Their love story was known as the "ice skating fairytale" and only made more beautiful by the birth of their daughter, Daria, in September 1992.
In 1994 they returned to the Olympics to win their second Olympic Gold Medal. Unfortunately in late 1995 tragedy struck during a "Stars on Ice" tour rehearsal in Lake Placid when Sergei Grinkov suffered a fatal heart attack at the young age of 28.
Ekaterina Gordeeva, and many of the ice skating stars present at this ice show, gave a touching tribute to Sergei Grinkov in 1996 that was aired on television and aired worldwide. The story of a young mother widowed at such a young age, brought tears to everyone and we all wished her well in the future and prayed for healing for her broken heart.
Ekaterina Gordeeva went on to courageously return to the ice as a solo skater for the "Stars on Ice" show and has toured with the production for many years since that fateful day in 1995.
Twenty years later Ekaterina returned once more to Lake Placid to celebrate Sergei Grinkov and to pay a special tribute show (with all of the proceeds going to the America Heart Association).
The evening was filled with rich emotion as Ekaterina Gordeeva thanked the audience for their support, their love, and their encouragement and compassion to herself and her daughter during that difficult time two decades ago.
She and other skaters performed a beautiful show that left each audience member with a night full of laughter, tears, and hope.
There is something so profoundly inspirational about watching someone go through tragedy and then seeing how they have overcome this tragedy later on in life.
Many of the audience members, myself included, were inspired by her resilience after such an incredibly difficult tragedy in her life.
The thing is is that Ekaterina Gordeeva came into the evening wanting to thank those who had supported her and yet I walked away from the evening changed and inspired.
Inspired to thank the people in my life who are helping me through my own difficult season of life, to thank those who are making a difference, and most of all inspired to remember that better days do come again.
The standing ovations throughout the evening were greatly deserved and were felt from our hearts. Ekaterina and the rest of the cast from the beautiful ice show, "From the Heart", thank you for your beautiful dedication to the sport of ice skating, for sharing your lives with us, and for inspiring us to look to the future with hope.