Games & medals
Alina ZAGITOVA biography
Alina Zagitova is one of Russia’s finest ever figure skaters, and her country’s first ever skater to achieve the feat of winning Olympic gold, the World Figure Skating Championships, European Figure Skating Championships and the Grand Prix of Figure skating. Her dominance, particularly over the last couple of years, has been extraordinary – but question marks remain over whether she will keep her momentum going toward Beijing 2022, after a difficult last 12 months for the Moscow-born athlete.
Still just 17, the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games was the highlight of her remarkable career so far. Aged 15, she won the gold medal with an elegant, poised, but technically terrific performance.
Skating to ‘Don Quixote’, she was quick and precise, executing moves with ease to score 239.57 points. She landed seven triple jumps and received level-fours on her spins and step sequence. “I haven’t fully realised yet that I’ve won,” Zagitova said afterwards. “I need some time to understand that I won the Olympic Games.”
Those in the know about figure skating tricks and techniques enthuse about Zagitova. She has a signature move – the triple lutz-triple loop combination – that she performs flawlessly, and she is also able to pull off other ultra-hard triple loop combinations, including the triple flip. Other combinations in her repertoire include the triple futz-triple toe, double axel-triple toe, and the triple flip-double toe-double loop. She has broken four scoring world record.
Zagitova is also the only female skater to perform two fully back-loaded programs in the 2017-18 season, prior to the implementation of the ‘Zagitova Rule’.
Skating fans are waiting patiently to see whether they will see more of their hero soon. Zagotiva withdrew from contention for the 2020 Russian Championships, and did not participate in the European or World Championship events. “For me, figure skating is all about what I always worked for, and continue working for, since I was four years old,” she said before her hiatus. “Forever I will be very grateful to my coaches for the tremendous job we have done. I am not planning either to stop or retire. I am still part of team Russia and still I can take part in international competitions for team Russia. I am continuing my figure skating way with the great support from my coaches.”