Russian husband and wife figure skating champions, Irina Rodnina and Alexander Zaitsev posed before the cameras in Moscow recently - but this time the photographic session was not on the ice.
Russian husband and wife figure skating champions, Irina Rodnina and Alexander Zaitsev posed before the cameras in Moscow recently - but this time the photographic session was not on the ice. Journalists met Irina at a Moscow maternity home, where she gave birth on the twenty-third of February to her first child, a seven pound boy.
SYNOPSIS: Irina spent nearly two weeks in the maternity home after the birth, before leaving on seventh of March.
She was greeted by her husband and skating partner, Alexander, and then a nurse handed the newborn baby to the proud father. Photographers had their first glimpse of the family together, and Irina and Alexander smiled happily for the cameras. The two skating champions are no strangers to journalists and headlines. Irina has been world champion ten times and Olympic champion twice in figure skating Alexander has gained six world championships and one Olympic gold medal. According to the London Times Irina was the star of the pair for most of their careers, but Alexander eventually emerged as the dominating member of the team.
But now the new parents are sharing the limelight with their son.
As they left the maternity house, one newsman presented Irina with some flowers. She said they had not yet decided on the baby's name, but she added, "I think he is going to be Alexander, like his father."
When asked about her skating future, Irina said her immediate priority was her family. She said she would try to get some exercise by skating, but could not yet make any decision about returning to professional skating. Irina Rodnina was so well respected for her skating prowess that she was honoured with the highest Soviet award for outstanding achievement - the Order of Lenin.