Olympic figure skating champion rejoins teammates after two months off the ice
Alina Zagitova has returned to training with coach Eteri Tutberidze and her team in Moscow after coronavirus restrictions were lifted.
Zagitova, the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic figure skating champion, had ended her competitive season and announced a break after finishing last at the Grand Prix Final in December, but continued to train until the coronavirus lockdown put an end to it.
Tutberidze and her athletes began arriving at her reopened base in Novogorsk on 25 May.
Now, the 18-year-old Zagitova has also rejoined her teammates after two months off the ice.
"It was very difficult without ice. I’m happy to resume full-time training," she admitted to Russian TV in quotes reported by Lenta.
While Zagitova has yet to confirm whether she will return to competition when the new season begins, her choreographer Daniil Gleikhengauz teased that the skater has already selected music for her new programs.
The teenage skater recently spoke out about online trolls, admitting that she let remarks on the Internet affect her early in her career.
“At first I tried to ignore the comments of the haters,” Zagitova said. “But there were times I had a bad start and they got through to me anyway. They were writing to tell me what I should do.
“At first it bothered me, but my coaches and parents reassured me that this was normal and not everyone would like me.”
Zagitova, who won the 2019 world title, remains the reigning world champion due to the cancellation of the 2020 World Championships.
Last month, she was included as one of six senior ladies' singles skaters on the Russian national squad for the 2020–21 season despite her hiatus.