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 Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    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.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora