Olympic Ice Dance Champions

01
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Lyudmila Pakhomova and Aleksandr Gorshkov - 1976 Olympic Ice Dance Champions

Lyudmila Pakhomova and Aleksandr Gorshkov - 1976 Olympic Ice Dance Champions
Lyudmila Pakhomova and Aleksandr Gorshkov - 1976 Olympic Ice Dance Champions. Allsport Hulton/Archive - Getty Images

Take a journey through Olympic figure skating history and learn a bit about the ice dancers who have won gold medals at the Winter Olympic Games.

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On February 9, 1976, Lyudmila Pakhomova and Aleksandr Gorshkov of Russia won gold and made history by winning the first Olympic ice dancing title. The husband and wife Soviet ice dance team won the world ice dancing title six times.

Pakhomova was known for showing emotion in her skating and Gorshkov was known for being reserved, but also elegant. They were honored whenever they skated. Together they created a unique style of ice dancing based on Russian ballet and folk dancing. They were married in 1970 and won their first world ice dancing title during the same year.

Gorshkov continues to be involved in figure skating and serves as the president of the Figure Skating Federation of Russia and served on the ISU International Skating Union's ice dance technical committee. Pakhomova was diagnosed with leukeumia in 1976 and died in May of 1986.

Lyudmila Pakhomova and Aleksandr Gorshkov were inducted into the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 1988.

02
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Natalia Linichuk and Gennadi Karponosov - 1980 Olympic Ice Dance Champions

Natalia Linichuk and Gennadi Karponosov
Natalia Linichuk and Gennadi Karponosov. Getty Images

Soviet ice dancers Natalia Linichuk and Gennadi Karponosov won the world ice dancing title in 1978 and 1979 and then went on to win the Olympic ice dancing title in 1980. They were married in July of 1981 and first coached in Russia, but moved to the USA to coach in the mid 1990s. They have coached in Delaware and Pennsylvania and were the coaches of 2006 Olympic Silver Ice Dance Medalists Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto and 2010 Olympic Bronze Ice Dance Medalists and World Ice Dance Champions Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin.

03
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Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean - 1984 Olympic Ice Dance Champions

1984 Olympic Ice Dance Champions Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean
1984 Olympic Ice Dance Champions Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean. Photo by Steve Powell - Getty Images

Great Britain's Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean did a free dance performance at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo that is remembered as a legendary performance. They skated to Maurice Ravel's Boléro and received nine perfect 6.0 scores. They won the 1984 Olympic Ice Dance title and also won the world ice dancing title four times.

After the 1984 Olympics, Torvill and Dean became professional figure skating performers; they toured the world and had their own ice shows. In 1994, they competed again in the Olympics since the International Skating Union relaxed the rules and allowed professionals to be eligible to compete in official figure skating events. They won bronze at the 1994 Olympic games.

In May of 2013, the figure skating legends captivated audiences again when they performed their Bolero program on the British reality television show "Dancing on Ice."

04
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Natalia Bestemianova and Andrei Bukin - 1988 Olympic Ice Dance Champions

Natalia Bestemianova and Andrei Bukin - 1988 Olympic Ice Dance Champions
Natalia Bestemianova and Andrei Bukin - 1988 Olympic Ice Dance Champions. Getty Images

After 1984 Olympic Ice Dancing Champions Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean retired from competitive skating, Natalia Bestemianova and Andrei Bukin became the new queen and king of ice dancing and seemed to win every competition they entered. The Russian ice dancers were known for complex lifts, footwork and original and theatrical choreography. In addition to winning the 1988 Olympic ice dance title, they won the world ice dancing title four times.

Bestemianova and Bukin "died," that is, fell down purposely on the ice at the end so many of their free dance programs, that the ISU International Skating Union decided to no longer permit skaters to "lie and die" on the ice. After Natalia Bestemianova and Andrei Bukin competitive careers ended, they toured professionally and also coached skating.

05
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Marina Klimova and Sergei Ponomarenko - 1992 Olympic Ice Dance Champions

Marina Klimova and Sergei Ponomarenko - 1992 Olympic Ice Dance Champions
Marina Klimova and Sergei Ponomarenko - 1992 Olympic Ice Dance Champions. Photo by Bob Martin/Staff - Getty Images

Marina Klimova and Sergei Ponomarenko hold an impressive record in ice skating history. They are the 1992 Olympic Ice Dance Champions, but they also won the 1988 Olympic silver medal and the 1984 Olympic bronze medal in ice dancing. They won the world ice dancing title three times and the European ice dance title four times. The competed for both the Soviet Union and the Unified Team and are the only figure skaters in history to win Olympic medals of every color.

06
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Oksana Grishuk and Evgeny Platov - 1994 and 1998 Olympic Ice Dance Champions

Oksana Grishuk and Evgeny Platov - 1994 and 1998 Olympic Ice Dance Champions
Oksana Grishuk and Evgeny Platov - 1994 and 1998 Olympic Ice Dance Champions. Getty Images

Russian ice dancers Oksana Grishuk and Evgeni Platov won the Olympics twice. They are the 1994 and 1998 Olympic Ice Dance Champions. Oksana Grishuk was sometimes confused with 1994 Olympic ladies figure skating champion, Oksana Baiul, so she changed her name to Pasha in 1997, but later went back to Oksana. Platov and Grishuk skated together from 1989 until 1998. They are listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for becoming the only ice dance team in the history to win Olympic gold medals twice. They were known for difficult elements and speed and skated with different dancing styles.

07
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Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat - 2002 Olympic Ice Dance Champions

Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat - 2002 Olympic Ice Dance Champions
Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat - 2002 Olympic Ice Dance Champions. Photo by Clive Brunskill - Getty Images

Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat of France won the 2002 Olympic ice dancing title. Their signature move was a "reverse lift" where Anissina lifted Peizerat. Anissina was born in the Soviet Union and competed for the Soviet Union and then Russia, but became a French citizen in 1994 shortly after she teamed up with Peizerat. They are the first French figure skaters to win the Olympic ice dance title. Anissina and Peizerat are remembered for having a indirect role in the 2002 Olympic Figure Skating Scandal which changed the way competitive figure skating is scored. In 2013, they announced that they would compete again with the goal of taking part in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

08
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Tatiana Navka and Roman Kostomarov - 2006 Olympic Ice Dance Champions

Tatiana Navka and Roman Kostomarov - 2006 Olympic Ice Dance Champions
Tatiana Navka and Roman Kostomarov - 2006 Olympic Ice Dance Champions. Getty Images

Russian ice dancers Tatiana Navka and Roman Kostomarov won the 2004 and 2005 world ice dance title and went on to win Olympic gold in 2006. They also won the European figure skating title three times. Like many of the Russian ice dance champions, the team trained in the United States. They are the first ice dance team to win Olympic gold under the ISU International Judging System, the figure skating judging system that was implemented after the 2002 Olympic figure skating judging scandal. Navka and Kostomarov left competitive skating after their win at the 2006 Olympics in Torino, but continued to skate together in ice shows.

09
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Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir - 2010 Olympic Ice Dance Champions

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir - 2010 Olympic Ice Dance Champions
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir - 2010 Olympic Ice Dance Champions. Photo by Jasper Juinen - Getty Images

Canadian figure skaters Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are North America's first Olympic Ice Dance Champions. They became prominent on the international figure skating scene when they became the first Canadian ice dance team to win the Junior World figure skating ice dance title in 2006, and they continued to rise to the top quickly. After winning gold at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010, they continued to compete and went on to win world ice dance title in 2010 and 2012. Their goal is to win a second Olympic gold medal at the Sochi Olympics in 2014. They began skating together in 1997 and are known for their original and innovative ice dance lifts and complex step sequences.