Russian ice dancer Marina Anissina
Russian ice dancer Marina Anissina with her partner Gwendal Peizerat represent France, they are the 2002 Olympic champions. In 2014, 39-year-old mother of two children Marina Anissina will attempt with Peizaret to qualify to compete in the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Beautiful ice dancer Marina Anissina was born August 30, 1975 in Moscow, into a skating family, her mother being a pair skater and her father an ice-hockey player. Marina Anissina began skating at the age of four. Her mother, having been injured in pair skating, did not wish her daughter to take those risks so she went into ice dancing.
Early in her career, Anissina competed with Sergei Sakhnovski, representing the Soviet Union. Following that partnership, she teamed up with Ilia Averbukh. They represented the Soviet Union and, after that country’s dissolution, Russia. They were the 1990 and 1992 World Junior Champions. Their partnership ended at the end of the 1991–92 season; Averbukh decided to leave Anissina to skate with Irina Lobacheva with whom he had fallen in love.
Russia at the time had a number of top ice dancing teams and was not especially concerned with helping Anissina find a new partner. She and her mother studied videotapes of international competitions and selected Gwendal Peizerat and Victor Kraatz. Anissina sent letters to both but the one to Kraatz did not reach him. Peizerat did not respond immediately but when his partnership with Marina Morel fell apart, he contacted Anissina.
Marina Anissina arrived in Lyon, France, in February 1993, declaring her goal of becoming World and Olympic champion. She wanted to bring Peizerat back to Russia with her but his family was opposed so she settled in France. She focused intensely on skating and insisted her partner, who was dividing his time between skating and his education, be equally focused on their career. Their first year together was difficult with major quarrels and they came close to splitting up. Nevertheless, their coach Muriel Boucher-Zazoui immediately felt it was a promising partnership, saying “They are like fire and ice”.
Anissina and Peizerat won the 1998 Olympic bronze medal and 1998 and 1999 World silver medals behind Anjelika Krylova and Oleg Ovsyannikov. The Russians retired due to injury and Anissina and Peizerat then developed a rivalry with the Italians Barbara Fusar-Poli and Maurizio Margaglio. The French 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 Olympics, 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 5–4 split of the judges’ panel had them in first place in this segment ahead of Lobacheva and Averbukh, and they became the first French ice dancers to win the Olympic gold medal.
After the Olympics, Anissina and Peizerat ended their competitive skating careers. The two continued skating together for many years in shows around the world. Both have also worked as choreographers. Anissina coached for several years in Marseille at S.O.G.M.A. 13 before her family settled in Moscow.
Marina Anissina’s mother, Irina Cherniaeva, is a former pair skater who placed sixth at the 1972 Winter Olympics. Marina Anissina’s father is Vyacheslav Anisin, a World and European champion in ice hockey. Anissina is of Ukrainian descent on her mother’s side. Her brother is Mikhail Anisin, also a hockey player. Marina Anissina received French citizenship in 1994.
On February 23, 2008, Anissina married Russian actor Nikita Djigurda in Moscow after the two met when they were partnered on a celebrity ice dancing television show. Their son, Mick-Angel Christ was born in Biarritz on January 7, 2009. Their daughter, Eva Vlada, was born on January 23, 2010. Their children were baptized in an Orthodox church in Moscow. The family currently lives in Moscow.