, author: Ermakova M.

Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov: a dream couple

The story of two skaters who paired up after successful performances with previous partners, who became not only outstanding athletes, but also found personal happiness.

Many are preparing whether Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov will continue their sports career. In the off-season, figure skater coach Alexander Zhulin took several bright couples to his group: Alexandra Stepanova / Ivan Bukin and Elizaveta Khudaiberdieva / Yegor Bazin. Immediately, talk began that Sinitsina and Katsalapov would not return to professional ice. Like, such a number of strong couples from one coach is too much, Zhulin will not be able to pay due attention to everyone. In addition, no one wrote off the younger dancers Vasilisa Kaganovskaya and Valery Angelopol, who are also part of Zhulin's group. But the coach had previously worked with a whole group of successful ice dancers - and each of the couples achieved results.

But even if Sinitsina and Katsalapov put an end to their careers, they will forever remain one of the brightest couples in Russian ice dancing. Those who returned our country to the podium in this form of figure skating.

The couple arose after the Olympic Games in Sochi. Before that, Sinitsina competed with Ruslan Zhiganshin, with whom she won several junior starts and the bronze of the Russian championship. Katsalapov was more successful: in 2014, together with Elena Ilyinykh, he became the Olympic champion in the team event, and in the individual won the bronze of the Games. In the spring, Sinitsina and Katsalapov began performing together, their former partners also paired up.

The starting season turned out to be unsuccessful for the skaters: they failed their performance at the Russian stage of the Grand Prix, frustrated several supports at the NHK Trophy, and became fourth at the Russian Championship.

Sinitsina and Katsalapov won their first joint medal in the 2015/16 season at the Grand Prix stage in America - they came second. In the same year, they earned silver at the Russian Championship. The next season for the couple was blurred: Katsalapov recovered for a long time after shoulder surgery, then the couple changed their coach. Skaters climbed the podium only once - at the Russian Championships they became third.

From the 2018/19 season, the couple began training with Alexander Zhulin. The skaters completed it ahead of schedule: at the Russian Championships in December, Katsalapov was injured while performing a free program.

The couple began climbing to the summit in 2019. A year earlier, the skaters could not get into the top three at the Russian Championship and qualify for the Olympics. The athletes entered the new four-year cycle with a confident step: first they won the silver of the European Championship, losing only 14 points to Gabriela Popadakis and Guillaume Sizeron. A year later, Sinitsina and Katsalapov already became the champions of the continent, and then added the gold of the world championship to the piggy bank.

The games in Beijing became the crowning glory of their careers for Sinitsina and Katsalapov: the skaters won silver in individual competitions, losing to the French, and gold in team competitions (although, due to the scandal involving Kamila Valieva, the awards were never presented).

After the Olympics, the skaters suspended their careers and did not go to domestic competitions. Alexander Zhulin recently noted that the couple does not have enough motivation to return.

“Vika and Nikita are still doing great in the show, earning money. While nothing is clear about the European Championships, the World Championships and the Olympic Games, it seems to me that there are not enough incentives for them to return to professional sports. It's my opinion. I would (if I were them in the current situation) would not return. Now they are resting. Periodically they come if you need to go through some number from the old ones or make a new one. We are constantly in touch, we are in excellent relations,” said Zhulin.

Tatyana Tarasova called Nikita Katsalapov "an athlete kissed by God." And he opened up with Victoria Sinitsina. The couple found each other not only on the ice, but also in life: since 2015, the skaters have been in a relationship, and in 2022 they officially became husband and wife.