Lydmila Smirnova and Andrey Suraykin were probably the number two pair in the World behind Irina Rodnina and Aleksey Ulanov at the start of the 1970s. They won silvers at the 1970, 1971 and 1972 World and European Championships and 1972 Olympic Games, always finishing behind Rodnina and Ulanov. They also won silvers behind Rodnina and Ulanov at the 1970 and 1971 Soviet Championships and won a gold at the 1970 Winter Universiade, where Rodnina and Ulanov did not compete. After the 1972 Olympic Games Smirnova became romantically involved with Ulanov and they started to skate pairs together and would later marry. Ulanov and Smirnova won silvers at the 1973 World and European Championships and 1974 World Championships and bronze at the 1974 European Championships, always placing behind Rodnina and her new partner Aleksandr Zaytsev. They also won a bronze at the 1973 Soviet Championships. After her competitive career Smirnova worked as a children’s coach and is currently a director of a figure skating school in her native St. Petersburg.
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