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GANGNEUNG, South Korea – The wrong woman won the Olympic figure skating gold medal Friday afternoon.Evgenia Medvedeva, the 18-year-old two-time defending world champion, is her sport’s best example of a complete skater, a masterful jumper and expressive artist whose programs are built to honor skating as it was meant to be: with all the requisite physical muscle of the toughest triple jumps, but the subtle, well-placed, connective balance of a true performance.Services Create your profile on our dating site to get access to the profiles of beautiful Russian and Ukrainian women.We do not charge any registration or membership fee.The parallels between this competition and 1998 are striking, with Medvedeva playing the role of 17-year-old Michelle Kwan, and Zagitova the 15-year-old Lipinski, only with far less international experience.Lipinski was the 1997 world champion heading into the Nagano Games, but was still considered a huge underdog in her epic contest with the iconic Kwan.
The judges tied the two, down to the 100th of a point, in the long program. Medvedeva’s program deserved a more significant boost in the long program component score (the artistic score) than it received: 77.47 to 75.03 for Zagitova.
Adelina Sotnikova, then 17, was the surprising and controversial winner of the gold medal in the women’s competition, while Julia Lipnitskaia, then 15, helped Russia win the team gold medal. Sotnikova hasn’t competed in two years, while Lipnitskaia announced her retirement due to complications from anorexia at the age of 19 last August.
To think that just one Olympics ago, we -- and they -- were most concerned about if they could land all their triple jumps.
Alina Zagitova, the 15-year-old who charged onto the scene while Medvedeva was out for two months with a broken bone in her foot, is her sport’s best example of a physically gifted opportunist, racking up valuable points any which way she can, including backloading her long program so she doesn’t even try a jump until she’s been on the ice for more than two minutes.
So who won the 2018 Olympic women’s figure skating gold medal, perhaps the most coveted gold medal at any Winter Games? Zagitova, the sport’s newest new thing -- a junior skater in Medvedeva’s home rink unknown to all but the most intense sequin heads less than a year ago -- is now the second youngest women’s Olympic gold medalist ever, just four weeks older than 1998 winner Tara Lipinski was back then.
When you meet them online, Russian ladies might seem a bit cold and indifferent.