In Olympic years, competitions such as the European Figure Skating Championships, held last weekend in Moscow, and the Four Continents Competition, coming up this weekend in Taipei City, Chinese Taipei, are a great opportunity for emerging skaters, as many of the sport’s stars stay home to prepare for the Olympics (and not risk injury).
But with the Russian skaters who will go to Pyeongchang still to be determined, the 2018 European Figure Skating Championships, had plenty of star power.
With Russia officially banned from the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, individual athletes once cleared by the International Olympic Committee, will be invited to compete under a neutral banner as an Olympic Athlete from Russia. Official invitations to the OAR team is expected later this month.
In ladies’, Russian teens Alina Zagitova, and Evgenia Medvedeva took gold and silver, with Italian skater Carolina Kostner winning bronze.
For Zagitova and Medvedeva, along with fourth-place finisher and teammate Maria Sotskova, their strong skates earned them a nomination to compete in Pyeongchang.
Russia swept the pairs podium, with Evegnia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov winning gold, Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov, silver, and Natalia Zabiyako and Alexander Enbert third. Each pair earned a nomination for the OAR team.
Two disciplines not won by Russian skaters were the mens’ and ice dance, with Javier Fernandez of Spain, and Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France both taking gold. But Russian skaters rounded out the podium in both, earning OAR nominations.
Russian skaters dominated the competition, and with so many great performances, I hope all them are cleared to compete in the Winter Olympics.
But the video I’ll post showing one of my favorite performances, is from British ice dancers Penny Coomes and Nicholas Buckland. The couple (a real-life couple off the ice) will compete in Pyeongchang, and though they’re not expected to medal, their free dance was beautiful. Check out the amazing lift at 3:39.
Can’t get enough figure skating? You’ll love my Red Hot Russians #FigureSkatingRomance series.