Fifteen-year-old Russian Yulia Lipnitskaya has become the world’s youngest athlete to ever win a gold medal at the Winter Olympics after her splendid free skate 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.
Lipnitskaya’s phenomenal performances in the short program and free skate in the figure skating team competition left Iceberg Skating Palace speechless. She received a standing ovation.
She has emerged as perhaps the biggest challenge to her rivals: Italian, Canadian, Japanese, and American female figure skaters.
In her spectacular debut at the Winter Olympics, she easily outskated far more experienced competitors including Carolina Kostner of Italy, for whom this is her third Olympics, and Japan’s Mao Asada, who is competing in her second Games.
Her nearly inhuman flexibility, combined with brilliant rotation on her spins and deft soaring jumps, left the audience amazed and impressed the judges.