Oleg served in the Soviet navy from 1951-1953 and placed third at the 1953 Russian pairs championships with partner Margarita Bogoyavlenskaya. Until 1957, Lyudmila's partner was Yuri Nevski. They became partners that year while Oleg was coaching in a training camp and Lyudmila demonstrated the movements. Both were considered too old for pairs skating at the time, but they formed a pair both on and off the ice. The Protopopovs brought artistic innovation to pairs skating, performing simple programs skating to classical music. While they are known for their artistic revolution, they left a strong technical legacy as well by inventing three additional death spirals: the forward-inside, forward-outside, and backward-inside. After winning their second Olympic gold medal in 1968, the continued competing only to drop to third place at the 1969 Worlds behind two athletic and powerful Soviet teams. They reluctantly turned professional and joined the Ice Capades. Lyudmila and Oleg became citizens of Switzerland during the 1980's and still live there today.
More Info About Belousova and Protopopov
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