Two-time Olympic silver medallist Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia finished in second place at the Autumn Classic. The competition was held at the Sixteen Mile Sports Complex in Oakville, Canada, just outside Toronto.
It’s the first competition for the two-time World champ since winning two silver medals at the 2018 Olympic Games in PyeongChang and moving to Canada to train with famed coach Brian Orser.
The Russian star was leading after the short program but a fall on her final jumping pass cost her. U.S. champ Bradie Tennell won the event scoring a combined 206.41. Medvedeva tallied 204.89 points for second, ahead of France’s Mae Berenice Meite (178.89).
“It’s definitely going to help my confidence,” Tennell said. “I really just focus on myself and the goals that I have in mind and what I want to do out there.”
Despite coming in as the favorite, Medvedeva was unfazed by the result.
“To be honest, I feel just amazing,” she said shortly after her performance. “This competition was a really incredible experience for me.”
Evgenia Medvedeva 2018 Autumn Classic Free Program Highlights
Evgenia Medvedeva 2018 Autumn Classic Free Program HighlightsWatch part of the Russian's new free program routine under new coach Brian Orser.
Ready to Work
With just a few months working with Orser under her belt, Medvedeva said her performance at the Autumn Classic was a great first step.
“First competition with new team, with new coach, with new everything,” she said. “There were a lot of mistakes a lot of places that we can do better and better. For my free program, I’m feeling really good and I feel I can do this clean, perfectly clean.”
And one gets the feeling that she won’t stop until she gets to that perfect performance.
“I’m just so excited to go to Cricket and start work again, again, again, more and more. Just nonstop work. I know that Brian, Tracy, Paige and everybody are ready to work nonstop. I’m so excited.”
INTERVIEW: Evgenia Medvedeva finishes second at Autumn Classic International
INTERVIEW: Evgenia Medvedeva finishes second at Autumn Classic InternationalThe Russian shares her thoughts after a late fall in her free skate program cost her the win.
Medvedeva has always wanted to skate to ‘Libertango,’ she told the Olympic Channel in an exclusive interview just before competition at the Autumn Classic.
She finally got that chance in competition.
“It was a little bit hard for now because it’s a little bit of a fast rhythm for me,” she said with a smile. “It feels a little bit, not strange, but so unusual, especially in the end when you feel tired and you really want to show fire.”
“It just takes a little bit of time.”
A new look
It will also take time to adjust to all of the changes in the 18-year-old's life. Earlier this year, the Russian superstar announced she was leaving long time coach Eteri Tutberidze to train with Orser in Canada.
“It’s totally different,” said Medeveda. “But I can’t – and I won’t – say in Russia it was worse or better, or here is better or worse.”
The move to Orser has already manifested change in Medvedeva. Her short program, set to the music ‘Orange Colored Sky’ and choreographed by David Wilson, is a totally new look for her, she admitted.
“A little bit nervous, but not so nervous like I usually feel in the first competition of the season,” she said of her first competitive outing with the program.
Despite any nerves she may have been feeling, she seemed at home with the program on Thursday, earning a 70.98, the highest score of the night.
“I just feel more freedom, more quiet, more body control,” said Medvedeva.
Welcome to Canada
She might have been feeling lost if not for American Jason Brown, who competed at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi and was an alternate to the U.S. team in 2018. Brown was the first person Medvedeva and her mother saw in Canada.
“He brought us, me and my mom, from the airport with a car,” she told reporters. “He’s a really good guy. I was so happy he met us because it’s an absolutely new country. He helped us a lot.”
According to the Russian skater, Brown has helped set up their life in Canada – everything from television and internet access to documents they might need.
Like Medvedeva, Brown recently moved to train with Orser - and alongside two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu.
“It’s just amazing. With Yuzu, and with Jason and [Gabrielle Daleman], everybody is just so different, have different personalities,” she said. “They’re such good guys, everybody.”
“I love Canada,” the 18-year-old said earlier this week.
And with her joyful performances this week in her new “work home,” Canada it appears suits her, too.