Beautiful ice dancers Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov joined the Russian national team for 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Elena Ilinykh was born April 25, 1994 in the city of Aktau in Kazakhstan. At the age of four she was brought to the rink by her grandmother. Her first coach was E. Volkova, who saw talents in a beautiful girl, and recommended her parents to engage Elena seriously in figure skating.
Elena Ilinykh began in single skating but her coaches felt she would be more suited to ice dancing. Thanks to Irina Lobacheva and Ilia Averbukh, who were the team’s first coaches, in 2005 Lena and Nikita became a couple. But constant quarrels, the inability to hear each other and find a common language in the end led to the fact that the couple broke up. This pair was destined to pass all the tests to finally understand that they were made for each other.
Ilinykh moved to Canton, Michigan where she trained in Marina Zueva and Igor Shpilband’s group for two years without a partner. While in 2008 Elena Ilinykh came on a winter vacation to Moscow, she met her former partner Nikita. Both tried again stand in a pair. Giving themselves a second chance, the couple became engaged under the direction of Zhulin and Oleg Volkov. Later they moved to Nikolai Morozov.
Nikita Katsalapov was born July 10, 1991 in Moscow. He started ice skating at the age of 4.5, in children’s theater on ice “Aleko”. Nikita’s first coach was his mother, who is seriously engaged in figure skating. But after 1.5 years in school began training with V.Kudryavtseva in H. Dubinskaya. In skating Nikita achieved good results among boys of his age. In 2001 he was the winner of the championship of Russia on special programs. But at the age of 13 he moved in ice dancing. His partner became Elena Ilinykh. But because the characters first couple broke up for a while.
In the 2013-14 Grand Prix season, Ilinykh and Katsalapov first competed at the 2013 NHK Trophy where they finished 4th. In their next event at the 2013 Trophee Eric Bompard, they scored a new personal best in their short dance and free dance with an overall score of 171.89 points where they won the silver medal beating the French ice dancers Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat, Ilinykh and Katsalapov received a standing ovation from the audience in their free dance. They won their third national silver medal at the 2014 Russian Championships. As of November 2013 Russian ice dancers Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov are ranked 7th in the ranking of the International Skating Union (ISU).