Pair Skating

Aloina Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy can be seen on Andre's Vienna DVD.   Since he will recreate the Vienna
concert in Toronto, maybe they will be there too.  Here is some additional information about them.  
But the latest news is that they just won the first place and the Gold medal in pair figure skating during the
European Championships in Warchau.  

Family name  Savchenko  
Given name  Aliona  
Date of birth  19 January 1984  
Place of birth  Kiev UKR
Gender  F  
Home town  Chemnitz  
Country of residence  GER  
Height  154 cm
Weight  46 kg   101 lbs
Nationality   GER  
Profession Student
Hobbies: Books, Music
started skating in 1989
Club Chemnitzer EC
Former Partners:Dmitri Boenko, Stanislav Morozov

Both Aliona and Robin skated with different partners before they teamed up together,  these are the prices and
accomplishment they have won since they started skating together in the 2003-2004 season.  
European Championships.  1st Gold

Nebelhorn Trophy: 1st
Skate Canada: 1st
NHK Trophy: 2nd
Grand Prix Final: 3rd
German Nationals: 1st
European championships: 2nd
Olympic Games: 6th
World Championships: 6th

Nebelhorn Trophy: 3rd
Ondrey Nepela Memorial: 1st
Cup of Russia: 3rd
German Nationals: 1st
European championships: 4th
World championship: 6th

German Nationals: 1st

From a German news article

Germany has a top pairs team which can compete for the medals at the European Championships. Aliona
Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy reached second place during the European championships.  This was their first
ISU championship competition together since Savchenko just became eligible to compete for Germany this season
after moving from the Ukraine to Germany in 2003.

But Savchenko is no stranger to the podium at international competitions. With her former partner, Stanislav
Morozov, she won the 2000 World Junior Figure Skating Championships in pairs. The duo also finished as high as
sixth at Europeans in 2001, ninth at Worlds in 2001, and 15th at the Olympics in 2002. Szolkowy was not quite as
successful on the international scene with his previous partners. He finished ninth at World Juniors with Claudia
Rauschenbach in 2001, but never competed at Europeans or Worlds before teaming with Savchenko.

After her partner retired in 2002, Savchenko wanted to continue skating and sought
another partner. "I always wanted to skate in Germany," Savchenko said. "So I told
a German journalist that I was looking for a new partner. He asked some German
coaches and told me about Robin. I knew him already from the Junior Worlds where
I came first and he came tenth. So I told my mother there was a dark boy in Germany
that wanted to skate with me and I knew him and thought it might be a good match"
Szolkowy had thought his pairs career was over after his partner left and was
actually skating synchro when he got the offer to try out with Savchenko.

Savchenko began skating when she was five. "I saw skating on television and was fascinated by it," she recalled. "I
didn't do any other sports but I wanted to try figure skating. I started pairs when I was 13 years old. I saw the other
skaters doing it and I wanted to do it myself. I liked all the acrobatic things like lifts and twists and throws." The
skaters have completed a quad twist and use a throw triple flip and throw triple loop in their free skate

                                        Szolkowy started when he was four. "It was by coincidence," he said. "We were at
                                        an airport that had an ice rink. I dropped in to try it and liked it. I changed to pairs
                                        when I was 16 because I couldn't see a future in singles. I had difficulty with the
                                        harder triple jumps." .

                                        Ingo Steuer coaches the talented couple, who train at Chemnitz in Germany.
                                       They work on ice for about three hours a day, five days a week in the summer,
                                        and then increase their training to over five hours a day during the season.
                                        Steuer also choreographs the couple's programs. This season, they are using
                                       "Isolde" by Maurice Luttikkus for the short program, music from the "Casablanca"
                                        soundtrack for the long, and "Belle" from the "Notre Dame de Paris" soundtrack
                                        performed by Smash for their exhibition program. Steuer chooses all the couples music. "I
know what look is right for them," Steuer stated. Off ice, she likes to listen to all different kinds of music, while he
prefers pop.

Other than listening to music, Savchenko said she had no time for other hobbies, although she likes to read.
Szolkowy enjoys working on and riding his motorcycle and playing other sports.

Savchenko spends much of her off ice time studying German, with classes three times a week. Szolkowy is part of
the sports division of the German Army, where he has worked for the last year and a half. Although Savchenko hays
no future plans after skating, Szolkowy hopes to own an independent business. "What kind depends on the
opportunities," he said.

The following is an interview with the pair from a German paper.  

Which figure skater of the past would you have liked to be?
Aliona: Ekaterina Gordeeva
Robin: Brian Boitano

Your idol when you started skating?
Aliona: Ingo Steuer. I had seen him on tv with Mandy Wötzel and told my parents: I want to skate like that one day
Robin: Viktor Petrenko, Brian Orser, Brian Boitano.

Dou you still have idols today?
Aliona: Of course. Ekaterina Gordeeva & Sergei Grinkov.
Robin: No.

What achievements in figure skating did impress you the most?
Aliona: The programs of Alexei Jagudin in the Olympic season 02.
Robin: The long successful career of Kati Witt. And the LP of
Gordeeva & Grinkov with the black costume and the vertical white
stripes. [He is talking about their 1993-94 LP "Moonlight Sonata"]

From which skating star in skating history would you like to take a skating lesson or perform together with?
Aliona: But I'm training with him already! And of course also Ekaterina.
Robin: If he was still alive, Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov.

The best moment of your skating career so far?
Aliona: When I won Junior Worlds 2000 in
Oberstdorf with Morozov. And my first performance
for Germany, when I just had come from Kiev and
became German Champion with Robin in Berlin.
Robin: The first German Championships with Aliona
in Berlin.

Which day would you like to eliminate from your
Aliona: All "black" days.
Robin: When I fell from first to last place at the
Zwinger-Pokal in Dresden. I was still a singles skater back then and I singled all jumps on that day.

What is the worst that can happen to you at a competition?
Aliona: That I can't take part in it.
Robin: To present yourself in a way, so that others can't see what your capable of.

Which other sport would you like to do?
Aliona: Figure skating fulfills me. But if I hadn't become a skater, I would like to be an artistic gymnast.
Robin: 100 meter sprint.

Your strength? Aliona: I'm not good at judging myself. I think willpower.
Robin: Patience.

Your weakness?
Aliona: I'm not weak.
Robin: Too much patience.

For what would you like to have more time?
Aliona: For my parents.
Robin: For myself.

Your favorite skaters in all 4 disciplines?
Aliona: Sasha Cohen, Brian Joubert, Tanith Belbin/Benjamin Agosto, Xue Shen/Hongbo Zhao.
Robin: With the men I'm torn: Stephane Lambiel or Stefan Lindemann, Ladies: Miki Ando and Fumie Suguri, Albena
Denkova/Maxim Staviski, Maria Petrova/Alexei Tikhonov as people, after we got to know them last season at Euros
and Worlds.

What profession would you like to do in future?
Aliona: Psychologist or Journalist.
Robin: To be self-employed in the gastronomic area.

What would you like to be able to do?
Aliona: Speak German.
Robin: Playing piano.

How did you start skating?
Aliona: With my dad I already always played on skates as a
3-year old child on a lake. Then I saw a poster with figure
skaters in Kiev and I said: "I want to do that too". When I
was 4 my dad brought me to practice at a sports school,
but the coach there said, 'you are still too small, come back
next year'.
Robin: When I was 4 my mom and I moved from the coast of the East Sea
to Erfurt. In the newspaper there was an article about an ice rink being
opened. My mom asked whether we should go there. And then I stayed there.

Your goals in sport?
Aliona: I don't tell. It's my secret.
Robin: To stand on top. In the middle.
Family name  SZOLKOWY  
Given name  Robin  
Date of birth  14 July 1979
Place of birth Griefswald
Gender  M  
City of residence  Chemnitz  
Country of residence  GER  
Height  175 cm  
Weight  72 kg  159 lbs
Nationality   GER  
Professioin Soldier
Hobbies motorcycle, sports, his girlfriend
Started skating in 1983
Club chemnitzer EC
Former Partners:Johanna Otto, Claudia Rauschenbach
Picture by Gymfan