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Teen Movie Critic

Ekaterina Gordeeva

November 10, 1997

Even seasoned performers like ice skater Ekaterina Gordeeva admit they get nervous before performing. "I get very nervous," she confessed. "But once I get out on the ice, I always relax."

You may remember Gordeeva as the Olympic winning Russian-born ice skater whose husband and lifelong skating partner Sergei Grinkov died tragically of a sudden heart attack in 1995. Since then she has become a successful solo skater, and will soon be starring in the upcoming TV musical Snowden on Ice, airing November 28th, 1997 8-9 P.M. ET.

Costarring with Gordeeva is her own five-year-old, blue-eyed, blond daughter, Daria Grinkov, who plays Gordeeva's daughter in the musical. "It was wonderful working with Daria," Gordeeva said fondly. " I also loved acting, which is something I'd never tried before." In "Snowden" Gordeeva portrays, Kate, a single mother returning to her childhood home with her daughter Lizzie. When Lizzie is embarassed while ice skating, Kate is reminded of a similar incident that occurred when she was a child, and of Snowden, the magical snowman who helped her. (Incidentally, Snowden's sponsor, Target, sells a Snowden toy, and will carry Gordeeva's upcoming line of bath products, and possibly children's clothing.)

Although the story is strictly fictional, Gordeeva says she can relate to her character in some ways, including being embarassed on the ice. "When I was a little girl, there were performances where I didn't do well and was terribly embarassed," she remembered. "But I had to keep going and not give up."

In fact, that would be her advice for children interested in Olympic skating careers. "If you have a dream, make sure it's really what you want to do, and work at it. Don't give up," she stated.

Where does Gordeeva see herself ten years from now? "I'd like to have more children," she said. "Daria is such a joy to me, and I'd love for her to have a brother or sister."

But would she love for Daria to follow in her parents' footsteps and become an ice skater? "I'm not pushing her," Gordeeva insisted. "She does like to skate with me or her friends, but I don't know if she takes skating seriously enough to consider doing it as a career. If she doesn't want to, that's fine with me, but if she does, that's also fine."

Gordeeva's love for children was evident when she mentioned an upcoming charity event sponsored by Target. "They're building Target House, a place for families of children in the Memphis Children's Hospital to stay, and I'll be at the opening. I visited some of the sick children in the hospital before, so I know Target's helping a worthy cause, and I am proud to be a part of it." Gordeeva said compassionately.

Gordeeva will also be part of a TV movie, based on her book, My Sergei, about her late husband. Set to air sometime before February, the movie will include much live footage of Gordeeva and Grinkov skating together.

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