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Sotnikova Wins Stunning Figure Skating Gold for Russia

Published: February 21, 2014 (Issue # 1798)



  • Adelina Sotnikova has won the first women's singles gold medal ever for Russia.
    Photo: Maxim Bogodvid / Ria Novosti

Russia’s Adelina Sotnikova put in a sensational free skate on Thursday to snatch the Sochi Olympic gold medal away from Kim Yuna and deny the South Korean back-to-back titles.

Sotnikova, 17, had trailed Kim by less than a point after a dazzling short program on Wednesday and overtook the 23-year-old two-time world champion to win with a total score of 224.59 points.

It is a first women's singles gold medal ever for Russia and a third figure skating gold for the host nation in Sochi after it won the team event and the pairs title went to Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov. It also shifts the focus from Evgeny Plushenko's controversial injury withdrawal from the men's individual competition.

Related: Russia's Takes Gold in Sochi Pairs Figure Skating

"I smashed my season's best. In fact, I smashed my highest score for my whole career and I did it at the Olympics. I didn't think I could skate like I did today," Sotnikova said before learning she had become an Olympic champion.

"The atmosphere was wonderful. I felt something amazing coming from the crowd. I could hear shouts and screams the whole time of 'keep going Adelina', and 'you can do it'. I just couldn't skate badly."

Kim put in a superb free skate but fell short, having to settle for silver with 219.11. The bronze went to Carolina Kostner of Italy, who posted 216.73.

Related: Faultless Plushenko Sets Russia Hurtling Toward Team Gold

With the surprise victory, Sotnikova dramatically steals the show from her 15-year-old compatriot Julia Liptiniskaia, who had dominated the build-up to the individual event after crushing allcomers in the team event earlier in the Games.

Lipnitskaia fell in Wednesday's short program and again on Thursday to disappear as a medal challenger, eventually finishing fifth with 200.57.

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Friday, Apr. 18


Teachers and students alike shouldn’t miss the opportunity to establish lasting contacts with Russian and foreign institutions during the 21st Education and Career Fair at LenExpo, beginning today and finishing tomorrow. Learn more about education in Russia and connect with your fellow scholars.


The Tromso International Film Festival, Norway’s largest, brings a short festival to St. Petersburg for one day only during Scandinavian Oddities, starting at 7 p.m. today at Rodina Cinema Center. Tickets for the event are 100 rubles ($2.80).


Sunday, Apr. 20


Celebrate Easter at Pavlovsk during the Easter Fair that begins today and continues through next Sunday. Visitors will have the chance to paint Easter eggs and children can take part in games as well as help decorate a tree in honor of Christianity’s holiest day.


Today is one of the final days to see the exhibit Cacti — Children of the Sun at the Peter the Great Botanical Garden. Starting Apr. 17, budding botanists will marvel at the variety and beauty of the desert’s most iconic plant.


Monday, Apr. 21


Improve your grasp of Neruda, Bolano and Marquez at TrueDA’s Beginners Spanish Lesson this evening at their location on the Petrograd Side. An experienced teacher will be on hand to help all attendees better understand the intricacies of the language and improve their accent.


Tuesday, Apr. 22


SPIBA’s Breakfast with the Director event series continues as the association welcomes Andrei Barannikov, general director of SPN Communications, to the Anna Pavlova Hall of the Angleterre Hotel this morning at 9 a.m. Attendees must confirm their participation by Apr. 21.


The AmCham Environment, Health and Safety Committee Meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. this morning in the their St. Petersburg office.