The first time I’ve heard about Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov when they did not get an Olympic medal for Russia (watch Olympic video). What a strange name and strange look for Russian skater – I thought looking at the pictures of their Olympic program? I wanted to learn more about this cute childish girl with strange name (Yuko Kavaguti), I wanted to see her best videos. Today I show you some but first let me to tell you a story of a Japanese girl who dreamed about Olympics.
Yuko Kavaguti (Kawaguchi) was born November 20, 1981 in Funabashi, Chiba, Japan. She started skating at the age of 5 years old. And as junior in singles skating she won several prizes in Japan. In 1999 she decided to have lessons of figure skating from Russian trainer in USA and came to USA where she lived for several years and won several championships. She became a first Japanese skater who won in pair team.
In 2006 she moves in Russia to continue training with a new partner Alexander Smirnov – Tamara Moskvina (her favorite trainer since 1999) became their couch.
Participate in Olympic Games was a very strong dream of Yuko Kavaguti. She had to give up her Japanese citizenship and get Russian citizenship to become a part of Russian Olympic team. December 23, 2008 Yuko Kavaguti got Russian citizenship. But it still was not enough to fit Olympic rules. Olympic rules tell that her citizenship must be at least 3 year before she would be able to become a part of Russian team. So Russian Olympic Committee wrote a letter to The Japan Skating Federation and asked them to allow Yuko Kavaguti take a part in Olympic Games as member of Russian team and this permission was given.
I wish all the best to Yuko Kavaguti – she deserves it.
One of the best videos of Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov (music “The Swan” by Camille Saint-Saens).
And I like this Japanese video about Yuko Kavaguti – you can see how they proud of her even she has Russian citizenship now!
For our readers who wants to know more:
Russian Video from Russia
Svet and Kyle
comments always welcome.