Eteri Georgievna Tutberidze (Russian: Этери Георгиевна Тутберидзе, the native name is Eteri Gogievna, Russian: Этери Гогиевна; born 24 February 1974) is a Russian figure skating coach who works mainly with female single skaters. She is head coach at the Sambo 70 skating club in Moscow. She has coached several skaters to success in international competitions, including 2022 Olympic Gold Medalist and 2021 World Champion Anna Shcherbakova, 2022 Olympic Silver Medalist and two-time Junior World Champion Alexandra Trusova, 2022 Olympic Team Champion and 2020 Junior World Champion Kamila Valieva (Olympic Gold Medal is pending an investigation by the Court of Arbitration for Sport for testing positive for a performance enhancing substance prior to the games), 2018 Olympic Gold Medalist and 2019 World Champion Alina Zagitova, two-time World Champion and 2018 Olympic Silver Medalist Evgenia Medvedeva, and 2014 Olympic Team Gold Medalist Yulia Lipnitskaya.
Eteri Georgievna Tutberidze was born 24 February 1974 in Moscow. The youngest of five children, she is half-Georgian, a quarter Russian, and a quarter Armenian. Her mother was a senior engineer at the Ministry of Agricultural Construction and her father worked at the Likhachev plant's foundry and as a taxi driver.
Tutberidze studied at the Academy of Physical Education in Malakhovka and received a degree in choreography from the Institute of Contemporary Art. During her six years in the United States, she lived in Oklahoma City, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, and San Antonio. Her daughter, Diana, was born on 16 January 2003 in Las Vegas. Diana was coached by her mother as a single skater until 2016 when, at the insistence of her mother, she opted for ice dance.
Tutberidze began skating at the age of four and a half, guided by Evgenia Zelikova and then Edouard Pliner. After sustaining a spinal fracture and growing 22 cm, she switched from singles to ice dancing. She was coached by Lidia Kabanova for two years and then joined Elena Tchaikovskaya, who paired her with Vyacheslav Chichekin. After briefly training under Natalia Linichuk, Tutberidze switched to Gennady Akkerman, her coach for the next three years. She skated with Alexei Kiliakov until he emigrated to the United States.
She worked in ice shows in the US for six years in the 1990s, including in Oklahoma at the time of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, for which she received compensation as a survivor.
Tutberidze at the Junior Grand Prix Final in December 2010
Tutberidze began coaching in San Antonio, Texas. After returning to Russia, she coached at several Moscow rinks, including a hockey rink Serebrianyi, where ice time was limited for figure skaters. She then moved to Sambo 70 (SDUSSHOR 37) in Moscow, where she collaborates with Sergei Dudakov and Daniil Gleikhengauz.
Tutberidze's coaching methods have been criticized by fans, journalists and skaters, especially in the wake of Kamila Valieva's doping scandal at the 2022 Beijing Olympics. The knowledge of the Sambo-70 club encouraging dehydration, starvation and unchanged practice regime despite injuries had been public before Beijing, and critics had also noticed Tutberidze's students regularly retiring injured before the age of 18. Several of her male students, such as Daniil Samsonov and Adian Pitkeev, also suffered serious injuries under her training.
Valieva's doping controversy in 2022 saw a new wave of critical articles and figure skaters speaking out, with coach Romain Haguenauer claiming that Tutberidze's training is "abusive, military even" and that "she wouldn't be allowed near children" if she used those practices in Montreal as a coach. Choreographer Benoît Richaud also spoke about the unsustainability of those methods and shortened careers. Figure skaters Adam Rippon and Katarina Witt publicly expressed support for Valieva, claiming that "adults around her have completely failed her" (Rippon) and that "the responsible adults should be banned from the sport forever" (Witt).
IOCpresidentThomas Bach expressed concern for Valieva's wellbeing, commenting "[Valieva] was received by her closest entourage with what appeared to be a tremendous coldness, it was chilling to see this, rather than giving her comfort, rather than to try to help her." The Kremlin responded that "the harshness of a coach in high-level sport is key for their athletes to achieve victories."