Winter Olympics 2018: Who Took Home a Women's Figure Skating Medal?
- Author: Carolyn Briggs Feb 23, 2018,
Feb 23, 2018, 9:50
She set a world record in the short program competition the other day, which was reset about 10 minutes later by Zagitova, leaving many to wonder, hmm, is Medvedeva - the two-time and reigning world champion, the figure skating impresario who went undefeated for nearly two years before being edged by Zagitova at the Grand Prix final in December - about to miss her moment before it even arrives?
Zagitova's world record short program score of 82.92 just 48 hours earlier made the difference, giving her a combined total of 239.57. During the 2015-16 season, she won the world championship, European championship and the grand prix final. But she battled a cracked bone in her right foot this season and Zagitova emerged, eventually surpassing Medvedeva. Her execution and artistry were superb.
"It's not that I want to get out on the ice to prove anything, I just want to skate cleanly", added Zagitova.
The fever accompanying the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang is nearly over, but it's not going to break before some of the most anticipated competitions are completed.
Medvedeva, 18, was unbeaten from December 2015 through this past fall, winning 10 global titles including the 2016 and 2017 World Championships, leaving many to believe she was indeed "undefeatable" in the Olympic Games women's competition, which opens with the short program Wednesday (Tuesday on the West Coast).
The last American woman to medal at the Olympics was Sasha Cohen, who won silver in 2006. However, Satoko Miyahara and Kaori Sakamoto trail the athletes from Russian Federation by six and seven points heading into the final on February 23. Two of the country's most recognizable skaters did not even make the team for the Pyeongchang Olympics; Wagner finished fourth at the USA championships and was not chosen, and Gracie Gold did not compete this season.
Zagitova admitted that her meteoric rise has come faster than she expected.
All three Russian skaters who competed on Wednesday - Zagitova, Medvedeva and Maria Sotskova - also jump with one or both arms above their heads, which garners an additional bonus.
"The breaking point happened when my coach told me that I needed to leave", she said. She cited others who struggled in the individual competition and implied that, in her case, she simply had little left after helping the U.S.to the bronze team medal.
Full results available at Olympic.org. None of them had scored above 70 points in their short program, as six other skaters did. She has an elegance about her that is so compelling, not to mention great speed and technique.
The Newfoundland native, who was 13th at the Sochi Games, says she has grown personally in the last four years.
Of her score, Zagitova said, "I was surprised and it was a nice surprise". "Here, I feel so much more mature, so much more in control and to be able to put a program like that is always much better than it was four years ago". One highlight: a triple salchow - double toeloop - double loop combination that drew loud cheers.
As she finished her skate and awaited her score, Tennell looked relieved, proud, and happy. She spun out and fell.
"I strongly wanted to do well today", said Miyahara. "And I hope I can do that in the free program".