I have lived in Massachusetts my whole life, but only recently did I start figure skating. I began skating at age 27...something most people don't do. Wanting to start was the easy part, where to skate was more difficult. I had so many options, but the one that influenced me the most was New England Figure Skating Club in Marlboro. I was probably influenced by the number of Olympic eligibles that were training there at the time. There was Ilia Kulik, Surya Bonali, and my favorite dance team of Pasha and Evgeny. What I remember most is after my lessons were finished, I would quietly go into the other rink and watch Pasha and Evgeny skate. What fascinated me most was watching how they skated by themselves when warming up. Then getting to watch the beginnings of their Olympic programs. What I regret is being too afraid to talk to them afterwards in the rink. I had plenty of opportunities, but I was way too shy.
I finally got my opportunity at World Pros in Washington DC in 1998. Finally after much waiting, I got to speak to Pasha briefly and have her sign my book. I told her that I named my cat after her and she was very sweet about it. I was shocked at how nice she was to everyone...not many skaters hang around and greet their fans. From then on I told myself I was going to defend her from people who give her such a bad rap. I am very excited to see Pasha skate singles someday in the near future, and hopefully I will get to meet her again, because this time I will give her a picture of my cat Pasha for her to keep along with her insurance coverage.
Aletochka's cat Pasha