by Klaus-Reinhold Kany
(19 July 2020) On Saturday morning, July 18, 2020, local time, Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya, the Russian pair skater who had competed for Australia from 2016 to late 2019, committed suicide. She jumped out of a window of her apartment on the sixth floor of a Moscow building to the ground and and was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.
Her Australian skating partner Harley Windsor, who she had performed with until January 2020, was in Sydney, Australia and commented on Facebook: “Words can not describe how I feel right now, I am devastated and sick to my core about the sad and sudden passing of Katia. The amount we had achieved during our partnership is something I can never forget and will always hold close to my heart. This news is something you can never prepare for. Rest In Peace, Katia.“
Alexandrovskaya was born in Moscow on January 1, 2000, and after doing singles she had been training in the Moscow pair skating school of Nina Mozer from 2014. But she could not find a longtime good partner until Australian skater Harley Windsor came to Russia in early 2016 with his Russian-born coach to find a partner. In Australia only few people practice skating and he could not find any girl who wanted to do pair skating competitively with him. Mozer recommended he try with Alexandrovskaya and helped her to get released from Russia within a few weeks because nobody expected she would ever become a top skater.
They began to train in the spring of 2016 and made such quick progress that they competed in the Junior Grand Prix in the same year, even winning their second Junior Grand Prix in Tallinn, Estonia. They qualified for the Junior Final in December 2016 where they finish fifth. Only three months later they won a surprising gold medal at the Junior World Championships and beat the Russian pairs with all the usual triple elements. Two weeks later they were 16th at their first senior Worlds.
In the fall of 2017, they qualified again for the Junior Final, which they won. They also qualified for the Olympic Games of 2018 at the Nebelhorn Trophy 2017. Afterwards Australia gave Alexandrovskaya citizenship very quickly. Therefore they could compete at the Games in South Korea where they were 18th and some weeks later 16th at the senior World Championships 2018. In the summer of 2018, they decided to move to Montreal and train with Richard Gauthier. But in the long run, they were not very happy there. Alexandrovskaya dreamt of becoming World Champions, but criticized her partner and their coach during many practices.
These were the first signs of her depression which became worse in 2019. Therefore they did not compete as well as in 2016 and 2017, and the team left Gauthier and went back to Moscow. In 2019 their results were not strong, placing 9th at Nebelhorn, and 7th at Skate America, and they had injury problems. On January 10, she did not turn up for training because she had to go to a Moscow hospital. The doctors diagnosed epilepsy after about ten days in the hospital and told her and to Windsor that it was very dangerous to continue a skating career. Therefore they split in January 2020 and Windsor went back to Australia. She got medication against her problems, but they obviously proved inadequate to help her to the extent needed.