15-year-old Olympic Sensation - First Russian gold in Sochi
10 February, 2014
Getting first-place performances in both the women’s short dance and free skate from its 15-year-old shooting star, Julia Lipnitskaia, Russia amassed such an insurmountable lead that the event’s final discipline on Sunday, the dance free skate, amounted to a mathematically irrelevant, yet beautiful, spectacle.
Russia took its first gold medal of these Games with 75 points, having notched first-place finishes in five of the competition’s eight components: the women’s short program and free skate, pairs short program and free skate and
men’s free skate.
Canada took silver with 65 points, despite failing to win a single event. And the United States took bronze with 60 points, carried by its world dance champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White, who won both their short and free skates.
Lipnitskaia brought spectators at Sochi’s Iceberg Skating Palace to their feet with a tremendous free skate that solidified her country’s hold on the team gold and established her as the competitor to beat when the women’s singles event is contested.
Performing a somber program to music from “Schindler’s List,” the 15-year-old Liptnitskaia, dressed in a long-sleeved red dress with black gloves, staged a technical tour de force, opening with a triple lutz-triple toe combination. She glided around the ice with a ballerina’s grace, pulling triple jumps out of her pocket with no apparent effort.
She earned a season’s best 141.51 points to finish first, adding 10 more points to Russia’s runaway score.


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