Marina Anissina comes back to big sport
Salt Lake City Olympic champion in ice dancing Marina Anissina, a Russian-born French skater, announced her imminent return to the competitive sport during Russia 2 channel’s program “Big Sport”.
She plans to perform with a longtime partner Gwendal Peizerat. Recall that the couple announced their retirement shortly after winning the 2002 Olympics. Since then, the athletes performed in various shows.
In 2009 Anissina gave birth to a son and a year later to a daughter. Now the 37-year-old figure skater begins to work on a set of competitive conditions, reported Sportbox.
Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat began their way to the Olympic highs by winning the 1998 Olympic bronze medal as well as 1998 and 1999 World silver medals behind Russian team Anjelika Krylova/Oleg Ovsyannikov. The Russians retired due to injury and French couple then developed a rivalry with the Italians Barbara Fusar-Poli and Maurizio Margaglio. Annisina/Peizerat won the 2000 European and World Championships.
In 2001, Anissina and Peizerat won European and World silver behind the Italians but surged past them in 2002 to reclaim their European title and become the Olympic Champions. At the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, they led after the compulsory dances and the original dance.
Their free dance, Liberty, mixed music with sections from the famed freedom speech by Martin Luther King Jr.; a five out of four split of the judges’ panel had them in 1st place in this segment ahead of Russians Irina Lobacheva and Ilia Averbukh. The French team became the first ice dancers of France to win the Olympic gold medal.
After the Olympics, Anissina and Peizerat ended their competitive skating careers.
Meanwhile, Russian coach Nikolai Morozov admitted that he is skeptical about the comeback of Marina Anissina. “This statement was a small shock for me. Honestly, I don’t even know what to comment on it. But one thing is clear for me: this comeback is unrealistic, of course.” Morozov said R-Sport.
Another Russian coach, Ilia Averbukh, said that the information on the return to the ice of Marina Anissina is only a PR.
“I can call it only as a stupid PR action, which goes from not smart people. It just brings a smile and it’s very sad that Marina Anissina allows to speculate on her name, because any sane person will say that it is simply impossible.” Russian edition quoted Averbukh.