(ru: Ирина Слуцкая), born February 9, 1979 in Moscow, Russia is a Russian figure skater.
Irina Slutskaya is a two-time World Champion and six-time European Champion, most ever for a Russian woman.
In figure skating at the 2002 Winter Olympics
Irina Slutskaya won the silver medal for her country and became the second Russian ever to win a medal in the women's event. The competition had been billed in advance as a head-to-head battle between Slutskaya and American Michelle Kwan. Unexpectedly, Kwan made mistakes in her free skate, but still led American Sarah Hughes in the overall standings. Slutskaya had to win the free skate in order to win gold. After a nervous performance, Slutskaya finished second in the free skate. Hughes won the free skate, and because Kwan finished third behind Slutskaya, Hughes won the gold. Russia, still somewhat aggrieved about the outcome of an earlier dispute over the pairs competition, filed a complaint against the result but it was rejected.
Irina Slutskaya made a powerful comeback after being the 9th at the World Figure Skating Championships in 2004 and a long stay at a hospital due to an illness (vasculitis). As the crowd chanted "Ira, Ira" (a diminutive from Irina), she was overcome with emotion. In an interview, she said:
"People frequently ask me, how did I manage to come up after the last year's tumble. It is a wrong thing to say, because when someone is sick, it is not a tumble, it's a distress. No one, unfortunately, is guaranteed from that. I only want to say: keep believing and fighting. I got up, and you can, too... The most important for me now is that this story can serve as an example for those who doubt that they are able to overcome their illness and return to a normal life."
Irina Slutskaya married Sergei Mikheyev on August 6, 1999. They have no children (as of late 2005).
Records and Achievements
- Two-time World Champion (2002, 2005).
- Six-time European Champion (1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005).
- Four-time Russian National Champion (2000, 2001, 2002, 2005).
- Four-time ISU Grand Prix Final Champion (2000, 2001, 2002, 2005).
- First Russian woman to win the European Championships.
- First woman to perform a triple salchow-triple loop-double toe in competition (Worlds 2001).
- First woman to perform a triple lutz-triple loop in competition (Grand Prix Final 2000).
- First woman to perform a Biellmann spin from each foot.