When we grow old, it is expected that there will be inevitable changes in our bodies.
Apart from the graying of hair, wrinkles, and age spots, we will also notice that our bones become weaker and there will be certain physical activities we won’t be able to do, one of which is figure skating.
Figure skating is a sport that requires control of the body and a high sense of rhythm. Strong bones and muscles are a must to be a good figure skater. This sport can be participated in by solo skaters, duos, and groups.
While we can easily imagine young adults twirling and skating in the middle of an ice rink, everyone would probably agree that it is rather difficult to imagine the elderly being active in this sport. But, one amazing duo of figure skaters just proved that age doesn’t matter, even in ice skating!
Meet Oleg Alekeyevich Protopopov and Lyudmila Yevgeniyevna Belousova, a power couple who have been figure skating since the 1950s!
Oleg started skating at the age of 15 while Lyudmila started her journey at the age of 16. The two figure skaters met in 1954 in Moscow. This was the beginning of their professional partnership that resulted in multiple awards in the figure skating field. Later on, the two skaters developed a friendship which eventually led to love and marriage after three years of having known each other.
The couple has since won two gold Olympic medals for their amazing skills and talent as figure skating partners. Their journey as figure skaters is definitely a colorful and impressive one!
In 1958, Oleg and Lyudmila debuted in their first-ever World Championships wherein they ended up snatching the 13th spot. They contended for the Olympics a couple of years later and finished in 9th place.
The couple’s professional skating journey has gone nowhere but up throughout the years.
In 1962, the duo participated once again in the World Championships and this time, they won a silver medal! This started a streak of wins including their Olympic gold medals in 1964 and 1968 as well as their first World Championship title in 1965.
Indeed, this couple has made their mark in professional figure skating, and after so many years, the fact that they can still skate with such elegance and talent is quite unbelievable!
Although some unfortunate events took place in 1979 leading to the couple’s defection to Switzerland and later on deciding to settle in America, the amazing figure skating duo made sure that the light of the sport still shines upon their lives.
They did not stop and continued to skate until their 60’s, teaching other hopefuls to achieve their dreams of becoming professional figure skaters. They even made a revolutionary change in figure skating wherein they blended the sport with slow romantic dancing in a single move.
Up until 2015, wherein Oleg, 83 years old, and Lyudmila, 79 years old, never failed to amaze their audience with their elegant moves and techniques. They totally nailed the performance and left everyone watching in awe of their undeniable talent honed by decades of mastering the sport.
Although Lyudmila Belousova passed away in 2017, only two years after their incredible performance, the couple’s outstanding contribution in the field of professional figure skating is definitely a mark that will continue to inspire others who would like to excel in the sport. What a power couple indeed!
Watch the duo’s electrifying performance in 2015 in the video below and prepare to be amazed.
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