Here's How The Russians Just Dominated Women's Figure Skating

Dianna Christensen
February 23, 2018

Alina Zagitova representing the team of the Olympic Athletes of Russian Federation was the first in ladies' short program in figure skating. Both Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation train in Moscow, and are separated by just 1.31 points.

The two Russians early on February 21 stood in first and second place in the still-ongoing competition for the gold and silver medals in women's figure skating at the Winter Games in South Korea.

Canada's Kaetlyn Osmond and Gabrielle Daleman, second and third at last year's worlds, had varying success.

The Olympic Athlete from Russia's routine to "Black Swan" featured three triple jumps, including a triple Lutz and triple loop combination and was awarded 82.92 points.

If Zagitova holds on in the free skate, Medvedeva's recent dominance may be remembered, at least in Olympic terms, as a case of bad timing. It also set the ISU best scores in short program, free skate and total score during the event. She will skate to a Chopin nocturne. The concept of the program is about the "flight of the soul" as it leaves a person's body at the point of "clinical death". Like her compatriots, the 17-year-old does many of her jumps with one hand over her head, increasing the difficulty and therefore her score. "In the team event I was nervous and my legs were shaky".

"I no longer see the flair of Peggy Fleming, or the personality of Dorothy Hamill, or the beauty of Katarina Witt. I was full of emotions, but they were happy emotions - to be at the Olympic Games".

Fifteen years old, Zagitova just met the age requirement for these Olympics. Like Zagitova, she was 15 when she made her Olympic figure skating debut, and performed an exceedingly hard triple toe loop-half loop-triple salchow combination with just 12 seconds left in her program.

"Well done to her", Medvedeva said. Medvedeva, the two-time defending world champion, injured her right foot in November and missed the Grand Prix Final. Medvedeva returned to the competitive ice at Europeans, where her undefeated streak snapped.

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In 2018 Zagitova began to step out of the shadow of teammate and motivator Evgenia Medvedeva. No other female skater - not Zagitova, not Medvedeva - had gone fall-less this season. In other action today, Russian skier Sergey Ridzik recovered from a crash in the ski cross final to take bronze, behind Canada's Bredy Leman and Marc Bischofberger of Switzerland. "I try to do absolutely everything I can in the free skate".

Italy's Carolina Kostner, the 2014 Olympic bronze medalist, is already the grand old lady of figure skating-at 31.

Earlier at the Winter Olympics, Mirai Nagasu became the first American woman to land a triple Axel on Olympic ice. At the Vancouver Olympics in 2010, she finished fourth.

Nagasu attempted the jump again in Tuesday's short program, set to Chopin's Nocturne. She is the top ranked US woman headed into the free skate in ninth place with 66.93 points.

"I'm trying not to think about medals", Medvedeva told a news conference. It happened in the team event and I know I can do it. "And I hope I can do that in the free program". A fall on the back end of a combination jump - Tennell had been virtually flawless with her jumps in her breakthrough season - was costly. She finished 10th overall.

Tennell, the 2018 US national champion, skated first to open up the ladies' short program event.

Nagasu hit the reset button for the remainder of her program, hitting her triple-triple combination and her solo jump, to score 66.93. She is in 11th place with a score of 64.01. "I'm not very fond of being in the first warm-up [group]". It was very special and on this dynamic stage I am happy to skate here.

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