Navka & Kostomarov :: The Team :: Biographies

Tatiana Navka

Birth date: 04/13/75
Birth place: Dnepropetrovsk
Family: married to Alexander Zhulin (photo right) and mother to daughter, Sasha
Previous Partners: Samuel Gezalian, Nikolai Morozov (both for Belarus)
Hobbies: spending time with her family, attending shows in NYC, listening to music
Motto: "Nothing is impossible, never give up."

Tatiana took to the ice at age 5 after watching skating during the Olympics. She begged her mother daily for skates, until finally they were able to find a place for her to skate and signed her up for lessons.

Tanya skated singles at the same rink and under the same coach as Oksana Baiul (who began skating several years later). She was successful winning many competitions at the city and regional level until she grew several inches at age 12. Her coach suggested she could switch to dance if she was unable to get her jumps back. Soon after, she was invited by one of the dance coaches to join his group.

At the age of 13, Tanya was among a small group of students her coach took to tryout with Natalia Dubova in Moscow. Tanya was the only student selected to train in Dubova's group. Dubova paired Tanya with Samvel Gezolian and in 1995, the team (representing
Belarus) finished 5th at the World Championships. After this event, the partnership ended.

In 1998, Tatiana returned to the World Championships with Nikolai Morozov. They were coached by Alexander "Sasha" Zhulin and finished 10th at the event. This partnership ended and Morozov retired to become a coach and choreographer. Tatiana moved to Newark, Delaware, in 1999 to skate with Roman Kostomarov. Their brief partnership resulted in a 12th place finish at worlds before the team was dissolved by coach Natalia Linichuk.

When Kostomarov was paired with Anna Semenovich, Tatiana trained alone for a short time before deciding to move to New Jersey with her husband, Alexander and gave birth to their daughter, Sasha (photo-left), in the summer of 2000. Soon after, Roman contacted Tatiana to reform their partnership with Zhulin serving as their coach.

Off the ice, Tanya enjoys spending time with her family. Although she played Tennis as a child, Sasha is teaching her how to play golf. When she vacations, she enjoys Europe, Mexico and Italy.

Roman Kostomarov

Birth date: 02/08/77
Birth place: Moscow
Former Partners: Anna Semenovich, Ekaterina Davydova
Hobbies: likes to play soccer and tennis, and go to clubs in NYC
Motto: "Always try to be the best at everything you do"

Roman started skating when he was 9. He had tried swimming and when that proved unsuccessful, his mother took him to the rink. When he was 11, a dance coach saw him and invited him to join his group as an ice dancer.

In 1996, Roman with his partner, Ekaterina Davydova, won the World Junior Figure Skating Championships. Although promising, the partnership ended and Roman was paired with Tatiana. They were coached by former Olympic gold medallists, Natalia Linichuk and Gennady Karponosov at their training base at the University of Delaware in Newark, DE. They finished 12th at the World Championships in 1999.

Coach Linichuk decided after one season that Roman would have a better result if he skated with his childhood friend Anna Semenovich, who had recently ended her partnership with Vladimir Fedorov. Roman and Anna trained hard, but finished 13th at Worlds in 2000.

Roman was faced with a difficult choice. He could continue skating with Anna or try to reform his partnership with Tatiana. He chose to contact Tanya and within two weeks the team was focussed on the following season.

Off the ice, Roman likes to play pool, soccer and tennis and go bowling. He also enjoys the clubs in NYC.

Roman photo © J. Barry Mittan; medals photo © Michelle Wojdyla