Skaters Yuko Kawaguchi and Alexander Smirnov, repeated champion of Russia in the pairs competition sports, and ride together since 2006. Japanese Kawaguchi at the time persuaded renowned coach Tamara Moskvina take it under its beginning, and getting a pair with Smirnov, achieved the greatest success in his career, three times winning the championship of Russia (2007-09.), Becoming the world championship bronze medal and a silver - in the continental tournament.
Yuko Kawaguchi was born November 20, 1981 in Funabasi Japan's Chiba Prefecture. In 1999 she moved to the U.S. and then in 2002 in Russia. Lives in St. Petersburg, where bought a studio apartment. She graduated from St. Petersburg State University, Faculty of International Relations. Yuko's father - a businessman, his mother - an English teacher. Yuko speaks fluent Japanese, Russian and English.
Skate Kawaguchi rides with five. Prior to 1999, played for Japan in the women's figure skating. There was a bronze medalist Japan junior in 1998, and in 1999 won a stage in the Junior Grand Prix series. Seeing at the Nagano Olympics in 1998, an address pair Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze, Yuko decided she wanted to learn to skate like Elena Berezhnaya and sent a fax message to the coach Tamara Moskvina that she wants to train. Tamara Moskvina Yuko allowed to come to the U.S., where at that time exercised its wards, and gave her a few lessons.
Kawaguchi skated with Alexander Markuntsovym under the Japanese flag, becoming a two-time champion in Japan.
Alexander Smirnov was born October 11, 1984 in Tver. Alexander stood on skates at age 4. Up to 17 years in a single skater, then moved to St. Petersburg.
In spring 2006 coaches asked to try a couple Kawaguchi and Alexander Smirnov, who was left without a partner. In this international pair immediately became much to receive. They moved to the Moskvina - a desire reiterated Yuko. And in 2006, Yuko & Alexander caused a sensation by becoming the stage the Grand Prix Cup of Russia third at once.
In 2007 the pair won the championship of Russia, becoming the third in Europe and fourth in the world. Starting with this season, the duo includes their programs ejection Salchow in four turns, but purely to fulfill its not always possible. At the European Championships 2009 partners have won a silver medal. At the world championships were third. This is their first world championship medal.
International Skating Union admits in his speech competitions couples of different nationalities under the flag of the country one of the partners. However, according to IOC rules, the participation of such pairs in the Olympics is impossible. Thus, to take part in the Olympics in 2010, Yuko had to obtain Russian citizenship. In this case, was abandoned by the Japanese, as the law of this country does not allow dual citizenship. Kawaguchi has repeatedly stated that it is seeking to speak in Vancouver and is ready to take this serious step.
December 23, 2008: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree on the adoption Yuko Kawaguchi to the Russian citizenship. And in February 2009, Federation of Skating in Japan, after consultation with the National Olympic Committee of Japan has decided to release Kawaguchi from any obligations to his country and to approve its participation in the national team of Russia in all international competitions, including the Winter Olympic Games. Unfortunately, at the Olympic Games in Vancouver, they took 4 place.
I wish these athletes to win in Moscow!