News / Europe

Young Russian Skater Lipnitskaya is Sochi Sensation

Yulia Lipnitskaya of the gold medal-winning Russian figure skating team poses with her medal during the medal ceremony for the figure skating team ice dance free dance at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 10, 2014.
Yulia Lipnitskaya of the gold medal-winning Russian figure skating team poses with her medal during the medal ceremony for the figure skating team ice dance free dance at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 10, 2014.
Reuters
Kim Yuna has chosen to avoid the hustle and bustle of the Olympic city. Present or not, the South Korean's showdown with Julia Lipnitskaya is the talk of Sochi and come Feb. 19, the women's short program will be the hottest ticket in town.
 
Lipnitskaya has already shown the world what her pint-sized, 15-year-old frame is capable of by leading the host country to glory in the team competition.
 
“Amazing, unbelievable,” gushed Robin Cousins, the 1980 Olympic men's champion, in an interview with Reuters.
 
“It's her first year as a senior, first time out, home country, a lot of pressure - how does somebody cope?
 
“It [Sunday's gold-winning display] was a practice session. To have that maturity on shoulders that are so young was unbelievable. Potentially she could be in three Olympics.”
 
Lipnitskaya is fearless on the ice and lifts off into soaring triple-triple jumps without much build-up or warning.
 
The Russian is so fast around the rink that she probably covers twice as much ground during her programs as her rivals. As for her spins, she disappears into a blur that does not seem to make her dizzy but leaves everyone else in a whirl.
 
“She's an incredible talent. That type of talent does not come along anywhere, in any country, that often,” Cousins, who is commentating for the BBC in Sochi, said at the Iceberg Skating Palace.
 
“It's thrilling to have been able to watch it. The scary thing is that there is still a lot she has to learn and there's still a lot more she can offer. It ain't there yet but, my goodness, she has a solid base to work from.”
 
Lipnitskaya is fortunate to have made it to the Olympics. If she had been born 25 days later she would have been ineligible for the Games because rules state that only skaters who turned 15 before July 1, 2013, can compete.
 
Her date of birth enabled the Russian to become the youngest figure skater in 78 years to win Olympic gold and she could join American Tara Lipinski in a select club of 15-year olds who have captured individual Olympic gold.
 
Lipnitskaya leads the season's standings in the free program, with her stirring portrayal of the doomed little girl in the red coat from Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List earning her 141.51 in the team event.
 
Kim, in contrast, is somewhat of an unknown quantity this season. She has not competed against her main rivals at any top-level events, having opted to skip the grand prix series.
 
However, four years after two breathtaking programs earned her world-record scores - 78.50 in the short and 150.06 in the long - she will be back at an Olympics as the world champion.
 
Some think the 23-year-old may have the upper hand because she is more rested - South Korea did not participate in the team competition - and she may also catch her rivals by surprise as she has yet to perform in Sochi.
 
Cousins dismisses the notion. “The beauty of YouTube is that you can see everybody skate. There is no hiding anywhere now,” he said.
 
“It's not going to change that much at the Olympics than it would have been at the national championships or any other event.
 
“Yuna will do what she always does when she steps on the ice. I'm hoping she will perform the way she did at her national championships as it was glorious.”

You May Like

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: ally from: US
February 12, 2014 12:16 PM
The only way Yuna Kim loses in this game is that she makes a mistake. Yuna is a great skater and I will root for her!
In Response

by: qasim ali shah from: Hyerabad sindh pakistan
February 18, 2014 8:28 AM
good news and report
In Response

by: Andy from: US
February 14, 2014 12:47 PM
I would like to see the Queen end her career in high notes, she should win Gold. Yulia will be a good test for her. Vegas odds as of today Queen -200, Yulia -125. My money on the Queen!
In Response

by: DES from: Boston
February 12, 2014 10:09 PM
Agreed.

Re to Jonesy--julia will eventually be the past too...the future is unknown but the past is already engraved in stone.
In Response

by: Jonesy from: US
February 12, 2014 8:57 PM
Julia will win either way....Julia is the future and Yuna Kim is the past

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More