1798849 10152831655872939 8572348073015835844 nPhoto by Katie Weigel

U.S. ice dancers, Ginna Hoptman & Pasha Filchenkov have announced their retirement from competitive ice dancing.  In their five years together, Hoptman & Filchenkov won the 2014 Eastern Sectional Championships and finished in the top 10 at the U.S. National Championships four times.  The team has released the following message to share with their family,  friends and fans via ice-dance.com. 

Hello everyone,

With mixed emotions, we are announcing our retirement from competitive ice dancing. We are sad to say goodbye to each season’s thrill of selecting music and putting together new programs, and to the satisfaction we got from training and performing in competitions and receiving support from fans, friends, family and fellow skaters. But we are looking forward to our next adventures in life, secure in the knowledge that we have given our all to competitive skating and have made the right decision. Our free dance last year said it for us – we have no regrets!

For me (Ginna), skating has always been my passion and creative outlet.  It has been important as a way to express myself, especially as a shy kid starting out on the ice.  But after several years toughing it out with several difficult injuries, I need to take care of my body and put my health first. I greatly appreciate Natalya, Pasha, and Kat Arbour for the care and respect they have shown for my injuries and helping to come up with creative ways to train and choreograph around my limitations.  I have learned so much about myself and others from being in this sport — the tough lessons build character and a positive attitude goes a very long way! I look forward to finishing my higher education with concentrations in exercise science and nutrition, and to expanding my time on the ice coaching and choreographing with the goal of making sure that all young skaters feel good about achieving their goals at whatever level they aspire to.  I am also excited to have time to let myself try new things!

For me (Pasha), competitive skating has been a way for me to express my strength and athleticism, starting at a young age in Russia when my mom put me on the ice at our doctor’s suggestion to build strength and endurance.  Since coming to the U.S., ice dancing has become a way for me to grow artistically, as Ginna and Natalya have encouraged me to push past my comfort zone and express my feelings and story on the ice.  I will miss this, as well as friends from other places that I see at competitions, but I look forward to having more time for coaching and passing on to the next generation the technique and love of ice dancing.

We both want to thank our parents for supporting us and letting us pursue our dreams.  We truly appreciate everything that Natalya and Gennadiy have given us – from their elite ice dance expertise to their personal support and down to earth life lessons.  We are also thankful for the support we have received from IceWorks, from Daphne and the crew at Ice-Dance.com, and from the judges and specialists who gave us feedback along the way.  And we are especially grateful for our family, friends and fans who have supported us over the years. We are very happy and proud of all that we have accomplished on the ice and it would not have been possible without all of your love and support.  

We could not have found more supportive partners and we treasure our time competing together as we make this difficult yet positive and exciting transition.

The very best,

Ginna & Pasha