Olga Mityaeva, GBOU school № 411 «Harmony», Saint-Petersburg
Elena is a famous Russian pair
Together with her
Sikharulidze, she won the 1998 and
1999 World Championship, the silver
Olympic medal in 1998 and became
the Olympic Champion in 2002.
Elena was born on October, 20th,
1977, in a small town of Nevinnomisk, in the
south of Russia.
She began skating at the age of 4,
when her mum brought her to the ice-skating
ring. Form a very early age she showed
everyone that she was very talented. At the
age of 13 Elena moved to Moscow where
Oleg Shlyakhov became her partner. They
were a very promising young pair but the
relations were difficult as Oleg
tempered and savage.
It was a very difficult period for
Elena as her partner was really rude with her.
If she made a mistake he began shouting and
even could hit her. Elena’s friends tried to
Oleg made up a decision to leave
Russia and move to Riga, Latvia.
to train together and to
participate in different competitions. And once
Tamara Moskvina, one of the greatest coaches
ever, noticed them and invited to work in
Saint-Petersburg. So in 1995 Elena and Oleg
moved to the Northern Capital.
In Saint-Petersburg Elena met Anton
Sikharulidze, the 1994 and 1995 World Junior champion
with Maria Petrova. Quite soon they
On January 9, 1996, Berezhnaya was
seriously injured when Shliakhov's blade sliced into her
skull while the pair were practicing
in Riga. Two
surgical operations were performed to remove bone
fragments from her brain. Doctors were unsure if she
would walk again.
Anton immediately left everything and
came to Riga. After the operation he brought Elena back
to Saint-Petersburg and surrounded her with love. After
the injury Elena couldn’t speak or walk. But Berezhnaya
wished to return to the ice and doctors agreed and three
months later she came to the ice skating ring. She began
skating carefully with Anton's help. When Elena
recovered, they started skating as a pair. They asked
Tamara Moskvina to be their coach.
Sikharulidze were brilliant skaters, they were real
Together Elena Berezhnaya and Anton
Sikharulidze won 27 gold, 9 silver and 5 bronze
medals, all in all 41 medals.
1997 - silver medal at the Russian Nationals
1997-bronze medal at the European Championship.
1998 - silver medal at the Russian Nationals
1998 - gold medal at the European Championship
1998 - gold medal at the World Championship
1998 - gold medal at the Good Will Games
1998 – silver medal at the Olympic Games
1999 - gold medal at the Russian Nationals
1999 - gold medal at the European Championship
1999 - gold medal at the World Championship
2000 - gold medal at the Russian Nationals
2000 - gold medal at the European Championship
2001 - gold medal at the Russian Nationals
2001 - gold medal at the European Championship
2001 - silver medal at the World Championship
2001 - gold medal at the Good Will Games
2002 - gold medal at the Russian Nationals
2002 – gold medal at the Olympic Games.
In May 2003, Berezhnaya and
Sikharulidze left competitive skating. From 2002–
2006, they toured with Stars on Ice. In 2006,
Berezhnaya took part in ice show Stars on Ice,then
In 2008, she participated in Star Ice and in many
other shows. In late 2010 and early 2011,
Berezhnaya played the White Queen in an Alice in
Wonderland ice show in St. Petersburg and
Moscow, alongside Alexei Yagudin and Tatiana
Totmianinaand Maxim Marinin.
husband is an English skater Steven Cousins.
They have two children, a son Tristan and a
daughter Sofia Diana.
Elena Berezhnaya is a great skater
our city is proud of and she has proved that a
person is much stronger that he or she looks like.