Nobody can say that the women’s Olympic figure skating competition was dull, there was plenty of drama when Sochi crowned a brand new champion.
In a free skate that was anything but predictable Russia captured it’s first gold medal in the sport ever, when 17-year-old Adelina Sotnikova won it all.
The teen came seemingly from nowhere to take it all, after her superstar teammate and crowd favorite, 15-year-old Yulia Lipnitskaya fell, again, during her performance Thursday.
The uncharacteristic mistake opened the door for several other competitors to creep up in the standings, the Americans still holding out hope.
However, the silver medal went to defending champion Yuna Kim in one of the biggest upsets of the Olympic figure skating competition, aside from the shocking withdrawal of Evgeni Plushenko on the men’s side.
In third place, another surprise, Carolina Kostner won the bronze medal, the first in the sport for Italy as well.
The final score told the story of how dominant Sotnikova really was. The Olympic figure skating gold medalist at Sochi was awarded 224.59 points, more than five points over Kim’s 219.11 and Kostner’s 216.73 points.
The US will come home empty handed as it failed to win a medal for the first time since 1936 as Gracie Gold got fourth place, after she wasn’t able to hold on to her triple flip, Ashley Wagner finished seventh, and 15-year-old Polina Edmunds got ninth, in her first international competition as a senior.
There are already cries of foul saying that the judges favored the local girl, when the other local girl failed spectacularly and Sotnikova’s program was performed seemingly better and cleaner than Kim did.
— Ymelee Lao (@25ems) February 20, 2014
— Elizabeth Aleo (@ElizabethAleo) February 20, 2014
— Maria Gorshkova (@Just_Mary08) February 20, 2014
— Joe Fleming (@ByJoeFleming) February 19, 2014
In the end Sotnikova was just better than Kim in the Olympics figure skating finals winning the component marks by a slight margin, 74.50 to 74.41. But Sotnikova’s program had more difficult jumps and higher-value technical elements. She did seven triple jumps, five in combination, to Kim’s six.
After the disappointment the Russians have suffered on ice with the stunning withdrawal by Plushenko and the men’s hockey team’s elimination from medal contention, Sotnikova’s gold medal in the Olympic figure skating competition is a welcome development.
[Image via Twitter]