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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid