Tamara Moskvina, the Russian Skating Coach, Wants a Fifth Gold Medal

Weeks before the Soviet Union dissolved in December 1991, Tamara Moskvina, the world’s most renowned coach of pairs figure skating, met with American reporters at a competition in Albertville, France, where the 1992 Winter Olympics would soon be held.

At least the inquisitors purported to be reporters. Moskvina noticed that all of their credentials referred to the same news organization, USA Today. The passes had been produced in error, but such blandly uniform identification brought joking suspicion that Moskvina was talking to spies, not sportswriters.

“C.I.A.?” she asked.

Now 80, Moskvina is seeking to coach her fifth pair of Olympic gold medalists, across five decades, at the Beijing Games with her mischievous humor and embrace of innovation.

Decades ago, she became an early…

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