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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Olympic Champions Return to Team For European Competition and More

Unnoticed by the public, Oksana Grishuk and Yevgeny Platov were practicing in a small Moscow rink this week, witnessed only by their coach and a few close friends.


On the eve of the European Championship, which opens in Paris on Sunday, the reigning world, European and Olympic ice dancing champions were putting the final touches to their new program, Arabian Passion.


In ice dancing, if Grishuk and Platov are in form, they're as good as gold. The Russians haven't lost a single meet for three full years. The last pair to defeat them were the British duo of Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean at the European Championship in 1994.


But this season so far has not been a smooth ride. After changing coaches, from Natalia Linichuk to Tatyana Tarasova, and missing the national championships in December, they were dropped from the team's roster before finally being reinstated just days before the Paris meet.


"Our former coach simply didn't have time for us," said the straightforward Oksana, who often leads soft-spoken Yevgeny on and off the ice. "We didn't compete in the Russian championships because we were delayed in the United States, where we live year-round, and arrived in Moscow late."


After they won the 1994 Olympics, there was a rumor that Grishuk and Platov wanted to turn professional.


"We have never considered leaving amateur skating for good," said Grishuk. "Our main goal remains the same -- make history by winning a second Olympic gold in Nagano in 1998." said one banner, delivering its verdict on Milan.


Called on to select a Milan team for the first time since May 1991, Sacchi dropped goalkeeper Sebastiano Rossi, whose errors cost Milan dear against Rosenborg, and brought back George Weah and Marcel Desailly.


After a poor first half Sacchi showed his old touch for conjuring success out of adversity by sending on Dejan Savicevic. Within nine minutes, the Montenegrin had headed home Weah's cross.


Giovanni Stroppa equalized but Milan edged in front again in the 67th minute with a well-taken goal from Stefano Eranio.


Meanwhile, Juve finally look poised to assert their authority on the title race after winning 1-0 at Sampdoria.


The win, courtesy of Ciro Ferrara's well-taken 33rd minute goal means the Turin club now trail Vicenza, held 1-1 at home to Inter, on goal difference alone with a game in hand.


(For other results, see Scorecard.)