Alina Zagitova arrives in Germany ahead of belated season debut
Olympic figure skating champion Alina Zagitova begins her 2018-19 campaign at the Nebelhorn Trophy on Thursday.
The 16-year-old Russian was scheduled to make her season debut at last week's Ondrej Nepela Trophy in Bratislava, Slovakia.
But she was unable to fly out due to issues with her travel documents and quickly arranged to compete in Oberstdorf, Germany.
This time she was able to take off and, after arriving at the competition venue, posed for a photo with Swiss skater Celine Sollberger.
Room for development
Zagitova is hoping to put her last competition - a disappointing fifth place at the World Championships - behind her.
Speaking to the Russian news site gazeta.ru, Zagitova said she is hoping to develop as a skater this year.
"I was nervous, starting the season as an Olympic champion, but thanks to the coaches I managed to overcome this. I have room for growth. I am determined.
"I will try to skate clean this season and transmit my emotions to the audiences. I will also try to show more maturity in my performances."
"I don't want anybody to think I've got a big head now. I don't have a star disease. I try to keep calm and be a normal person," said Alina Zagitova
Zagitova also spoke about her choice of Bizet's Carmen as her music for her free skate this season.
She said, "At first I didn't know the music but Eteri (coach Eteri Tutberidze) told me it would be interesting and that the music suits me very well. Later I found out that it was Carmen."
"I wanted to use this music last season but I was not experienced or mature enough then. Now the coaches feel I can interpret it better."
With former training partner Evgenia Medvedeva second on her reappearance at last weekend's Autumn Classic, the world is waiting to see if Zagitova can make a winning return in Oberstdorf.