JulieLeung.com: a life told in tidepools

pictures and stories from the water’s edge

JulieLeung.com: a life told in tidepools header image 2

They met on the Internet

February 9th, 2004 · No Comments

Earlier this year I described how a fan Web site and some IMing brought ice dancers Naomi Lang and Peter Tchernyshev back into competition this season. Apparently they aren’t the only ice dancing couple with an Internet story.

Whenever Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov appear in competitions, the TV commentators almost inevitably mention he is Russian, she American and “They met on the Internet.” I’d heard this phrase a few times but always wondered how it happened. How did they meet each other on the Internet? Were they both in a chat room for dog lovers or something and one of them said “hey I’m looking for a world-class ice-dancing partner?”

So I decided to look it up on the Web and found this description of the pair who are now the 2004 US silver medalists:

Without the Internet, Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov, the bronze medalists at the 2002 U. S. Nationals, probably would never have met. Instead, they are looking at a bright future together both on and off the ice.


“It’s amazing since neither one of uses the computer a lot. I never looked at the ‘partner wanted’ ads, since they can be a bit iffy. Denis posted on the ISU website that he had lost his partner and was looking for a new one,” Gregory stated. “A friend of my mother’s saw his post and told my mother about it. She contacted me and I emailed Denis. We talked via email about goals, and then decided to have a tryout in Colorado Springs. Denis couldn’t sleep after his flight from Russia, so we had the tryout early in the morning before the coaches came. When Sandy (Hess) came, we told her we were going to skate together. Once Denis came, he stayed. He still has his return airplane ticket that he never used.” “All dancers will tell you that there’s a special feeling that you get when you skate together that tells you that you found the right partner,” Petukhov added.

The skaters began dating within two weeks, fell in love and were married on February 2, 2001…

Ted and I like all skating but there’s something special – and more intricate and intimate – when two people perform together, as in ice dancing and pairs.

In introducing me to the sport, Ted described how a good couple on the ice will look like they are married. There’s a passion between the two, beyond the basic techniques, an understanding and celebration of each other. A unity and harmony in form and spirit. They look like they are in love. And some of them actually are.

Tags: marriage