Figure skater Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya was depressed before fatal jump, was working as stripper to make ends meet
She was suffering from depression and 'could not find herself' during the lockdown as she had to retire due to an epileptic attack
Figure skater Ekaterina 'Katia' Alexandrovskaya, 20, had believed that her life had fallen apart, her friends and ex-coaches have revealed. The former Olympian had to retire from the sport after she was diagnosed with epilepsy and had announced her retirement in February. Ekaterina died on Friday, July 17, in Moscow. As per a report from Russia's Channel 5, Ekaterina had struggled to accept the diagnosis and had reportedly been 'forced to work in a striptease club' to survive and make some money.
Other reports have claimed that she was also struggling with the effects of the pandemic lockdown especially when she was trying to build a new life. Russian law enforcement sources have said that her death is believed to be suicide based on preliminary information. A friend of Ekaterina's, Veronika, said that the athlete had been depressed during the period leading up to her death. The two had also recently spoken on the phone and had got the impression that 'Katia could not find herself'.
Veronika said, "She felt lonely. I supported her as best I could... but due to circumstances, I could not devote much time to her, which I regret now. I was due to meet her the other day." She added how Ekaterina wanted to return to the sporting world that she had been a part of since she was 4. "She wanted to return to big sport, but did not know how to do it," she revealed.
Ekaterina had reportedly hoped to get a TV job related to the sport but had been turned down for it. Ekaterina's former coach, Andrei Khekalo, said that she had not trained since January 10. He said, "Then she had an attack. She was put in for an examination, it was before the Championship of the Four Continents. It was a very serious competition for Katia and Harley (Windsor), where they had to perform well." He went on: "Katia did not come to training, because she suffered an epileptic seizure. Her mum was scared, it's good that she was at home. An ambulance was promptly called, and Katia was examined for two weeks."
"After that, I went to see her doctor, who told me that it was epilepsy," he said. It was recommended that she should stop professional sport. He also spoke about how he understood the desperation that could set in from retiring before feeling ready to do so. "When I myself finished sport, I thought that my life was over. Depression is always present in such cases. But I don't know what Katia had been doing lately. It is unfortunate that this happened."
"She ceased to engage in an active life. She had daily training, jogging on Saturdays, competitions, and training camps. Imagine, she has all this from an early age. Then she was forced to finish, a decision she made with her mother on medical advice. This pandemic too... People tolerate it in different ways, " he added.
The International Skating Union released a statement on its website on Saturday, July 18. ISU President Jan Dijkema had said, "The ISU is shocked by the news of Ekaterina's passing. She was a talented pair skater and the Figure-Skating community will miss her. We offer our deepest sympathies to her family, friends, and teammates and mourn this tragic loss."