Colorado Springs, Colo. (September 6, 2007) – Four-time U.S. silver medalist ice dancers Melissa Gregory & Denis Petukhov announced today that they have made a coaching change and will begin training under former U.S. medalist Priscilla Hill. Hill recently ended her 10-year relationship as head coach of three-time U.S. champion Johnny Weir.
“After what started to look like a great season, it ended up not being to our satisfaction,” Petukhov said. “We wanted to do what was necessary to keep improving and moving up the ranks. Priscilla is a great technician and has a great eye for giving you that finishing touch.”
Gregory and Petukhov paired up in the summer of 2000 and first competed at the State Farm U.S. Figure Skating Championships in 2002, when they placed third. They teamed up with coach Nikoli Morozov in Connecticut in the spring of 2003, and worked with him and his wife, Shae-Lynn Bourne, for three years. Under Morozov, they won three consecutive silver medals at the U.S. Championships, placed a career-best ninth at the World Figure Skating Championships, in 2006, and finished 14th at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games. Most recently, they claimed the silver medal – their fourth in a row – at the 2007 U.S Championships and placed 10th at the 2007 World Championships.
“Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov are one of the world’s elite ice dancing teams, and I am honored to become their head coach,” Hill said. “This season brings all of us new challenges, and I am very excited to be using my knowledge from dance, pairs and singles, as well as my many years of coaching experience, to help them in preparation for the upcoming season.”
Prior to signing on with Hill, Gregory and Petukhov were previously coached by 1980 Olympic ice dancing champions Natalia Linichuk and Gennadi Karpanosov at the University of Delaware. Linichuk and Karponosov, now married, won the 1980 Olympic gold medal for the Soviet Union. They also won two World titles and four Soviet Union titles.
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