Russian-American ice dancer Denis Petukhov was born on October 6, 1978 in Kirov, Russia. While there, he competed with partner Oksana Potdykova and earned the titles for the 2000 Russian national bronze medalist and two-time medalist at the World Junior Figure Skating Championships. They ended their partnership in 2000 when she was forced to retire from skating, leaving him to look for other alternatives.
Petukhov set up an online partner search for pairs skaters and became acquainted with American ice dancer Melissa Gregory. He flew to the United States in August of 2000 to test with her and was so impressed that he canceled all other auditions that came after. He never returned to Russia after that, but married his partner on February 2, 2001.
Together, they have obtained four silver medals and two bronze medals at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships and competed in the 2006 Winter Olympics. This earned Petukhov the honor of being one of the few skaters to have competed at both the European Figure Skating Championships and Four Continents Figure Skating Championships.
On November 4, 2007, both skaters were injured during the warmup for the free dance at 2007 Skate Canada International. Petukhov lost his footing, hurt his knee and neck, and accidentally dropped Gregory, who injured her ribs. Since then, they moved to Connecticut and started coaching and choreographing other skaters. They also decided to launch their own YouTube channel, OlympianUncut, and have been seen on several television series that showcase their skating prowess.
They appeared on Stars, Stripes and Skates in 2009, but Petukhov was chosen to compete on the ABC reality series Skating for the Stars in 2010. He was paired up with 80s actress Sean Young.