Gordeeva and Grinkov were teamed at age 11 and 15, respectively. In 1985 they captured the World Junior title. The following year they went on to claim the first of four World championships (1986-87, 1989-90).
Their career peaked when they won their first Olympic gold medal with a unanimous vote at the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. In 1990, claiming their competitive drive had diminished, they retired after the World Championships.
The pair married in April 1991. Thanks to rule changes in amateur skating, they were able to return to Olympic competition in 1994 at Lillehammer, Norway, where they won a second gold medal despite a few minor errors in their routine.
Afterward they emigrated to the United States to skate professionally. Their partnership ended abruptly in November 1995 when Grinkov died of a heart attack in Lake Placid, N.Y., while practicing a routine for "Stars on Ice." Gordeeva subsequently pursued a singles skating career.
Gordeeva and Grinkov had a daughter, Daria, who was born Sept. 11, 1992. Gordeeva is now married to 1998 Olympic champion Ilia Kulik.