22 Facts About Yelena Berezhnaya


Elena Viktorovna Berezhnaya is a Russian former pair skater.

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Yelena Berezhnaya first competed with Oleg Shliakhov for Latvia and won gold at the 1995 Trophee de France.

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Yelena Berezhnaya recovered rapidly and began competing again in November 1996 with new partner, Anton Sikharulidze.

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Yelena Berezhnaya was born in the southern Russian town of Nevinnomyssk, her mother having moved from Voronezh and her father from beyond the Urals.

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Yelena Berezhnaya has an elder brother, Alexei, and a younger one, Ivan.

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Yelena Berezhnaya's parents divorced when she was five due to her father's alcoholism; her mother remarried but eventually divorced again.

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When Yelena Berezhnaya was 13, her coach asked her to switch from singles to pairs.

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Yelena Berezhnaya moved to Moscow, 791 miles to the north, and lived in a dormitory as her mother could not move with her.

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Yelena Berezhnaya decided to move to Riga, Latvia, saying they would have better and cheaper training conditions.

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Yelena Berezhnaya kept quiet and did not tell her mother, worrying it would worsen her poor health.

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Yelena Berezhnaya thought he showed some improvement Moskvina told her it was not enough and advised her to end the partnership.

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Yelena Berezhnaya had begun to develop friendships with the other skaters at Yubileyny, becoming particularly close to Anton Sikharulidze, the 1994 and 1995 World Junior champion with Maria Petrova.

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On 9 January 1996, Yelena Berezhnaya was seriously injured when Shliakhov's blade sliced into her skull while the pair were practicing a side-by-side camel spin in Riga.

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Yelena Berezhnaya was surprised and overjoyed to see him, but unable to speak or move.

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Yelena Berezhnaya had made a nearly full recovery, although her speech remained slurred requiring speech therapy.

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Yelena Berezhnaya returned to competition in November 1996, skating with Sikharulidze at Trophee Lalique where the pair won bronze.

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In February 2000, the pair won gold at the 2000 Europeans but were stripped of their medals after Yelena Berezhnaya tested positive for pseudoephedrine, a substance whose ban was lifted temporarily between 2004 and 2010 before being banned again.

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Yelena Berezhnaya stated that she had taken cold medication approved by a doctor but had failed to inform the ISU as required.

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Yelena Berezhnaya allegedly said that she had been intimidated by the head of the French skating organization into voting for the Russian pair in exchange for an advantage for the French couple in the ice dancing competition, which was to follow a few days later.

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In 2006, Yelena Berezhnaya teamed with the actor Aleksandr Nosik for the Channel One ice show Stars on Ice.

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Yelena Berezhnaya skated with former training mate John Zimmerman in the Kings on Ice show in 2009, and with Jerome Blanchard in Ice Heart.

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Sikharulidze and Yelena Berezhnaya had an on-and-off romantic relationship between 1996 and 2002; they remain close friends.

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