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Kira Ivanova

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexFemale
Full nameKira Valentinovna•Ivanova
Used nameKira•Ivanova
Original nameКира Валентиновна•Иванова
Born10 January 1963 in Moskva (Moscow), Moskva (RUS)
Died18 December 2001 in Moskva (Moscow), Moskva (RUS)
Measurements159 cm / 48 kg
AffiliationsDynamo Moskva, Moskva (RUS)
NOC Soviet Union
Nationality Russian Federation

Biography

Kira Ivanova is the only Soviet female singles skater to win an Olympic medal, but her life was turbulent both on and off the ice. At the beginning of her career, Ivanova was known as a good free skater with strong triple jumps and strong ballet training, but she later became known as the “queen of compulsory figures” who had become an inconsistent free skater. In her era, she was one of the very few female skaters to have completed a clean triple-triple jump combination, but her inconsistent performances at competitions never allowed her to win a major international tournament. Ivanova rose to prominence in 1979, when she won her first Soviet title. She also competed at the World and European Championships between 1979 and 1981 and at the 1980 Olympics, but not very successfully. In 1981 Ivanova won her second Soviet title, but after that she was banned from international competitions for nearly two years by Soviet skating officials because of her very heated relationship, both professional and romantic, with her coach Vladimir Kovalyov, inconsistent training, alcohol abuse and erratic public outbursts. She was also considered a high risk for defecting to the West. Despite that, she was still one of the best Soviet female singles skater and in 1984, when she was again allowed to compete internationally she was fourth at both the European and World Championships and won a bronze at the 1984 Olympics. In 1985, Ivanova won her only World Championship medal, a silver, and from 1985-88 she won four silvers in a row at the European Championships. She also competed at the 1988 Olympics, where she finished first in the compulsory figures, but skated poorly in both the short and long programs and finished seventh. Domestically, besides her titles in 1979 and 1981, Ivanova won her third Soviet title in 1988 and won three silvers in a row from 1985-87, behind Anna Kondrashova. After finishing her career in 1988, Ivanova suffered from alcoholism and although she underwent several attempts at rehab, there were no visible results. On 21 December 2001, Ivanova’s body was found by her neighbors in her Moscow apartment. The police investigation established that she had apparently died of stab wounds inflicted by a butcher’s knife three days earlier and it was speculated to be a random attack. Her assailant was never caught. The actress Keira Knightley is named in her honor albeit with an incorrect spelling.

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal Nationality As
1980 Winter Olympics Figure Skating (Skating) URS RUS Kira Ivanova
Singles, Women (Olympic) 16
1984 Winter Olympics Figure Skating (Skating) URS RUS Kira Ivanova
Singles, Women (Olympic) 3 Bronze
1988 Winter Olympics Figure Skating (Skating) URS RUS Kira Ivanova
Singles, Women (Olympic) 7

Special Notes