Can't fault their unison!
Good one, Math!
He was always my favourite, and it's so nice to know that he is a good person, too. I remember that Katia Gordeeva mentinoned Viktor being a very kind and helpful man, "helping others was never a problem for Viktor".
I've been fortunate to meet Victor a number of times and he is the nicest, warmest person you could imagine. Happy, joking and humble.
Does anyone remember that Disney special of "Beauty and the Beast" on ice? Gordeyeva played Beauty, and Petrenko played the Beast. It was after Katia was widowed, and it might have been the first time since then that she was skating with a partner. While watching, I was a bit anxious because I didn't know what Petrenko's partnering skills were. Then at the end, he lifted her into that overhead sitting position that was one of Grinkov's trademark lifts. I still remember the feeling of delight and hope that came over me as I watched them. I've always wondered whether the producers chose Petrenko because he was such an old friend of Katia's, and they knew she would be comfortable skating with him.
And another long-forgotten good deed that Victor did, is that he was the legal guardian for Ukrainian orphan skater Oksana Baiul when she was underage and travelling outside Russia for competitions.
IIRC Viktor asked his coach Galina Zmievskaya offer her home for Oksana and he also partly paid her living and skating expences.
One of the many stories out of the update Kurt did of his book to add in the 91-92 Season is what happened on the Podium at 92 Worlds. Remember the Soviet Union had broken up not too long before the Albertville Olympics, and the Athletes had to compete under the Olympic Flag and any Gold Medal Ceremonies, the Olympic Hymn was played. At Worlds, it was the ISU flag and Hymn/Anthem played. In Oakland, Kurt asked Viktor about that and he replied along the lines of it wasn't his flag or Anthem.
Viktor finally wins the World Title after all those epic battles w/Kurt over the years, not to mention the Olympic Title the month before, but after all those years of work and finally having his dream come true... In a way, it doesn't because of what was going on in the World and his Country at the time.
And that's my *only* complaint when it comes to Viktor's career.
Oh...That's wrong. I have one more. I wish I could have had the privledge of getting to see him perform live. I never did get that chance.
Plus, Mrs. MM thought he was the hottest guy in skating (still does).
At the time, Viktor, Galina and everyone else in their camp weren't Russian, they weren't Ukranian, they were all citizens of The Soviet Union. Due to that, they ended up being called Russian, which they weren't either, but the current country of Ukraine didn't exist either. Yes, the region existed, but due to it being under the umbrella of The Soviet Union, that was about it.
Viktor grew up training under the Soviet/Russian system, listening to the Soviet Anthem and watching that red flag w/the hammer and sickle in the corner go up to the celing whenever he won a skating competition his entire life. Until Feburary and March of 1992 when the Soviet Union fell apart and what I was talking about in my previous post took place at that year's Winter Olympics and World Championships for any of the Soviet Athletes/Skaters.
Does that clear things up? BTW, please don't shout at us when you're trying to prove a point. The bold, italics and underline buttons aren't that hard to find and use after all.
Thanks, Tigger! That's what I had in mind.
To add to what Tigger said, I knew that Petrenko was Ukranian, but the style of meticulous, ballet-infused skating, often to classical music (didn't Petrenko use music from the ballet Don Quixote, the same piece John Curry used in 1976?) is considered Russian--or as Tigger correctly categorizes it, Soviet/Russian. The tradition of Russian ballet predates the Soviet Union, stemming from the mighty dynasties of the Bolshoi and the Kirov Ballets, which were, are, and will always be world cultural treasures. The U.S.S.R. proudly claimed this tradition and enriched it even during the terrible years of World War II, as they did with Russian orchestral music and opera. Skaters all over the Soviet Union definitely drew from this rich ballet heritage in movement, positioning, choreography, and artistic interpretation. (One need only think of the "Swan Lake" short program of the equally Ukranian Oksana Baiul, which was literally like ballet on skates.) If you look at Petrenko and then look at Alexei Urmanov, you see a lot of the same traits, and I believe Urmanov is Russian.
I'm not bringing all this up to make an argument, but just because the tradition is so marvelous that it deserves the esteem of skating fans everywhere. All four disciplines owe Russian skating, underlaid by Russian ballet, a lot, and Petrenko was certainly a wonderful exponent of the tradition.
An interesting fact that underlines the supremacy of Soviet culture over anything regional in the U.S.S.R. is that (as I learned while researching Petrenko when this thread piqued my interest) Petrenko didn't learn to speak Ukranian as a youngster. He spoke only Russian. By now he might know Ukranian, since he's been serving as president of the Ukranian skating federation.