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Russian Figure Skaters Take Gold, Silver Medals at Winter Olympics

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Yekaterina Bobrova and Dmitry Solovyov perform their short program in the ice dance competition at the XXIII Olympic Winter Games

Back then, in 1998 at the Nagano Olympics, 15-year-old Tara Lipinski narrowly defeated the universally favored and more experienced Michelle Kwan.

Zagitova skated a program largely free from mistakes, exhibiting fluidity and technical brilliance. Her flawless jumps and lovely musicality earned her 156.65 points, which gave her a total of 239.57 points overall.

Russian figure skater Evgenia Medvedeva (born in 1999) took home silver with 238.6 points.

Satoko Miyahara (JPN) delivered an excellent performance to "Madame Butterfly" as well to place fourth on 222.38 points. Medvedeva didn't backload all of her jumps. Zagitova won... the junior title.

"I think I need some time to understand that I won the Olympic Games", said Zagitova.

Victory came despite her first triple Lutz missing a planned progression into a triple loop.

"When I saw the score, I was surprised and it was a nice surprise", Zagitova commented.

Olympic champion Alina Zagitova is a marvel.

"Zagitova is a ballerina on the ice", Button wrote.

Adelina Sotnikova, the 2014 Olympic champion at age 17, is not competing this season because of an injury.

And anyone who watched and doesn't agree that the athleticism of figure skaters is tremendously under-appreciated, well, they must have had blinders on while the Russians were churning out triple jump after triple jump.

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Her gold medal triumph in Pyeongchang will make Alina Zagitova a household name.

Medvedeva had initially claimed it with an 81.61, but it soon belonged to Zagitova when she posted 82.92 barely 15 minutes later. The difference in those two scores ended up being what separated gold from silver.

Antipina recalled an episode when Zagitova could have drastically changed her figure-skating specialization, as she was invited to test her skills in pair skating during a stay at a Russian sports base in Novogorsk. "This was my mindset going out - not to leave anything on the table. I think she knows in a confident way that she's the best". They finally settled on Alina, after celebrated Russian gymnast Alina Kabaeva.

"Obviously, it did have an influence, because I had two months less of practice and preparation than planned", Medvedeva noted.

The women did have to wait the longest to skate again, nine days to be exact, but that's no excuse.

Kaetlyn Osmond needed to put aside all doubt and present her Black Swan program in a way that has eluded her all season. Her only miscue came early in her program when she stepped out on the landing of a triple lutz. "I realize that all my way has been passed not in vain, and [now] I will try to go on with the same spirit". Missed the action from Day 14 of the Pyeongchang Games? Well-rested and featuring three of the top 10 point-scorers in the Games-Nikita Gusev, Ilya Kovalchuk and Kirill Kaprizov-the team undoubtedly expects to be playing for gold this weekend. "I am so excited". All of them made 23-year-old Hanyu look young, but he was defending his gold medal from Sochi.

One dark-haired Russian teenager chose Cervantes' whimsical character Don Quixote to find her path to Olympic greatness. Next came a flying camel spin, a combination spin and her step sequence. Perhaps sensing she had earned her best score and given herself hope of a medal, she pumped both fists in the air with a mixture of joy and relief at the end of her performance.

"I'm too nervous. My arms and legs were as hard as the ice that I couldn't feel myself at the rink". "Standing on the Olympic ice, I wanted to devote every effort to what I've worked toward for four years". But the 18-year-old said she had been satisfied with how she had skated.

"It was beyond imagination", Miyahara commented. "It was a priceless moment" the Japanese Champion noted. "I don't know whether I'll be able to achieve the same success but I know very well if I manage to do it right then why not?" The high was tremendous, and she never quite recaptured that magic. Like, I already have a medal.

Button praised Sakamoto's jumps again on Twitter. There was no doubt about the narrative in this free skate. With a tiara and powder-blue sequined dress, she set out to portray the "Cinderella" of her music. Mirai Nagasu did a half-rotation Axel instead of a triple and was 10th.

"She respects the other girls so much", added Walia.

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