Maiya Usova and Aleksandr Zhulin started to skate together in 1980, later marrying in 1986. Their first big achievement was a gold at the 1985 Winter Universiade. At the 1987 Winter Universiade they won silver and their first World and European Championships medals, both silvers, came in 1989. Their only World and European titles came in 1993 and besides their 1989 and 1993 medals from the World and European Championships, they were on the podium at the World Championships from 1990-92, and at the Europeans in 1990-91 and 1994. They also won a bronze at the 1992 Winter Olympics and silver in 1994, while their only Soviet title came in 1991. After the 1994 Olympics, Usova and Zhulin turned professional and skated together until 1998, after which Zhulin skated with Oksana Grishchuk. After finishing his competing career, Zhulin worked as a figure skating coach, his most famous pupils being the 2006 Olympic champions Tatyana Navka and Roman Kostomarov.