Sochi, Russian Federation (4E Sports) – Fifteen-year-old Yulia Lipnitskaya of Russia earned the distinction of being the youngest skater to win a gold medal at the Winter Olympics after her outstanding performance in the team figure skating event.
She is six days younger than US figure skater Tara Lipinski was when she won a gold medal in Nagano in 1998, making her the youngest Olympic Gold medalist in figure skating history.
Lipnitskaya’s phenomenal performances in the short program and free skate in the figure skating team competition left spectators at the Iceberg Skating Palace speechless.
In her spectacular debut at the Winter Olympics, she easily outskated far more experienced competitors including Carolina Kostner of Italy and Japan’s Mao Asada, who are competing in their third and second Games, respectively.
She showed the second-best result ever in ladies’ free skating at the Sunday event, scoring 141.51 points and earning a combined total of 214.41 points.
The Russian bested Gracie Gold of the United States (129.38), Valentina Marchei of Italy (112.51), Japan’s Akiko Suzuki (112.33) and Kaetlyn Osmond of Canada (110.73).
Later, Yulia revealed that her free skate program to music from “Schindler’s List” was not her best performance.
“For me, this skate was not the best. We will work on mistakes so that on the individual championship there are no flaws,” she said. “It was annoying that I failed the last rotation,” she confessed.
She will now fly back home to Moscow, where she trains, and return to Sochi in several days to compete for gold in the individual event.