Former Olympic gold medalist skaters still showstopping in old age
When an event, any event, is graced by a legend whose name is synonymous with that specific discipline, it makes the evening even more special.
Think Michael Jordan attending a kids’ basketball game.
These people have dedicated their lives to the field they’ve excelled in and, make no mistake, have paid their dues through constant dedication and practice.
The Protopopovs are Russian Figure Skaters. Well, were.
They won Olympic gold medals for the Soviet Union back in 1964 and 1968 and won the Word Figure Skating Championships every year from 1965 to 1968.
In 1979, this husband and wife team defected to Switzerland while on tour and requested for political asylum. They became Swiss citizens in 1995.
Oleg Protopopov and Lyudmila Belousova were responsible for creating a new era of pair skating with a more romantic style that is reminiscent of Russian ballet.
Slow, graceful movements are trademarks of their style.
The Protopopovs graced the the crowd of An Evening with Champions with their presence and proved that age really is just a number when doing what you love.
In this video, Oleg is 83 while Lyudmila is 79. Those silvery white hair colors don’t lie.
And neither do their moves. Exquisite and graceful, smooth yet surprisingly strong, the husband and wife duo belied their years to the delight of the crowd.
They don’t have children. A shame as no one is around to carry the family name and legacy.
It was a personal choice from both as they wanted to pursue their careers as figure skaters.
Decades of passion for this sport truly shines in this video.
They are simply superb. It is mesmerizing to see a couple in their senior years move around as if a sort of magic flows in their veins.
The music is “Fascination” by Liberace and for some reason, it becomes that much more enchanting with the talent of Oleg and Lyudmila.
Among the many comments in Russian, English viewers are all praises.
“One of the most beautiful and moving things i have seen!”
To be together all those years, to have practiced, danced, and traveled together as a couple is the dream for many young lovers out there.
This Romantic style of skating suddenly makes more sense.
Oleg and Lyudmila met in 1954 after Oleg’s service with the Soviet navy, began skating together, then got married in 1957. Call it fate, but they belong to each other.
This is a dance of love.
Look at the way they glide through the ice. Arms outstretched, bodies extended and moving together as one, this is impressive.
The audience can’t stop applauding. It’s a slower type of applause.
One of wonder and awe at the marvelous performance they are so blessed to witness. It was that kind of night.
Click on the video below and watch in wonder Oleg and Lyudmila’s age defying routine.
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