The pair skater Aliona Savchenko competed for Ukraine at Salt Lake City 2002, then competing for Germany in Turin 2006. She won a bronze medal at Vancouver 2010, competing with Robin Szolkowy.
Aliona Savchenko was born (19 January 1984) in Kiev, Ukraine and began skating when she was five years old. She took up pair skating at the age of 13, and with partner Stanislav Morozov competed in the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Winter Games.
Move to Germany
In 2003, Robin Szolkowy’s coach, Ingo Steuer, brought Savchenko from the Ukraine to Germany to try out with his skater. They had already met at junior level, when, according to Savchenko, “I came first and he came tenth.” The partnership clicked, Savchenko relocated to Germany, and the newly formed pair team won the German National Figure Skating Championships in 2004.Golden couple
After competing together for Germany at Turin 2006, placing sixth, Savchenko and Szolkowy went on a run of victories, becoming European champions in 2007, 2008 and 2009 and World champions in 2008 and 2009. As a result, the pair was one of the favourites to win gold at Vancouver 2010.
All was going well for Savchenko and Szolkowy until the final routine, the free skate. Reflecting on the performance of their Chinese rivals, Szolkowy said, “I was relaxed when I watched their routine, I was still at the Olympic Village.” But then during the routine their chances of gold disappeared when Szolkowy fell while attempting to land a double axel. As a result the pair had to settle for bronze medals behind China’s Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo, who won gold, and Pang Qing and Tong Jian, who won silver.