February 23, 2018
GANGNEUNG, South Korea -- A few years back, Alina Zagitova nearly was sent home from training for not working hard enough.
Now, she heads home with Olympic gold, the first for the Russians at the Pyeongchang Olympics.
A grateful nation -- upset that its flag, anthem and dozens of athletes were banned from the Winter Games because of a doping scandal -- can thank the 15-year-old who beat the 18-year-old, Evgenia Medvedeva, who had inspired her to become a figure skater. And they can thank their coach, Eteri Tutberidze, who gave the less-than-diligent Zagitova one more chance to prove herself when she wanted to quit.
"My hands were shaking, but my body was doing everything I'd trained to do," Zagitova said Friday after a rare tie in the free skate earned her the top spot because she beat Medvedeva in the short program two days earlier, when both women broke the previous world-record score.
Alina Zagitova edges countrywoman Evgenia Medvedeva to win figure skating gold
"I can't believe I am the champion," she said.
Zagitova becomes the second-youngest Olympic Gold Medalist (by 28 days) in the women's singles event behind American Tara Lipinski in 1998, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Kaetlyn Osmond, who had considered quitting the sport, won bronze to give Canada four overall medals in figure skating.
"I felt strong and in the best shape that I've ever been in my entire life," Osmond said. "I can't believe that I ever thought about retiring."
Zagitova's victory in one of the Games' spotlight events ended the gold drought for the Russians and added another chapter to her battle with her friend and training partner. It could become a skating rivalry for the ages.
"I've got a big life in sports ahead of me, and I want to keep going for many years," Medvedeva said.
"I can do more in this sport," Zagitova added. "There are a lot of titles to win, and the Olympics is the biggest."
When asked how she will feel at the medal ceremony when the Olympic flag, and not the Russian flag, is raised, and she does not hear the Russian anthem, Zagitova said, "Could I please not answer this question?"
"I was trying with all my strength to ignore it, but I couldn't," Zagitova said of the doping issue. "I was really worried because I knew I didn't have the right to make a mistake. I had to skate clean and show my maximum, but I'm so happy I could."
"It doesn't matter what the circumstances are," Medvedeva added. "People know who we are, and today we proved ourselves here."
Medvedeva seemed well on her way to Olympic gold as she went unbeaten for two seasons. But she battled a cracked bone in her right foot this season, and Zagitova emerged, eventually surpassing Medvedeva.
Medvedeva had set a world mark in the short program, and a few minutes later her countrywoman beat it. The difference in the short program wound up being the exact margin -- 1.31 points -- between gold and silver.
Zagitova went before Medvedeva during Friday's event, greeted by loud chants and cheers from the Russian fans desperate for that first gold.
She nailed everything with fluid flair and technical brilliance. Zagitova earned 156.65 points for her program to "Don Quixote," laying down the challenge for her countrywoman.
"I didn't feel competition, I felt I didn't have the right to a mistake," she said. "That gave me a boost, and nerves, too."
Medvedeva matched the performance, but that was not enough.
"I wanted to leave everything out there on the ice," she said. "I've got no regrets."
Zagitova backloaded her program that featured 10 jumps, earning bonus points for difficult tricks late in the free skate. She needed every point.
Her poise on the ice and off -- unlike many of the other competitors, Zagitova didn't shed tears after her routine -- belied her years. Whether she can follow up this triumph with more, unlike 2014 Sochi gold-medalist Adelina Sotnikova, who has struggled since -- will be fascinating to watch.
Other than Mirai Nagasu's triple axel in the team event, it was not a memorable Olympics for the American women. They finished ninth, 10th and 11th in the singles event, their weakest showing since World War II. Sixth place had been the previous low.
Nagasu, fourth at the Vancouver Games in 2010, became the first American woman to land the triple axel in an Olympics, helping the United States take the team bronze. From there, it was downhill. She never got elevation for the triple axel Friday and ended up 10th. She was one spot in front of Karen Chen, the 2017 U.S. champion. Bradie Tennell, this year's winner at nationals, was ninth.
Chen fell once and had bobbles on other jumps and moves. Tennell, who headed to South Korea without missing a jump all season, twice stepped out on planned combinations.
"I think we all could have skated better, but you know, you knock us down and we get up to fight," Tennell said.
Both Chen and Tennell are expected to keep skating and will need vast improvement to catch up to the Russians, Japanese and Canadians who have come to dominate the women's event.
Italy's Carolina Kostner, the 2014 bronze medalist, was fifth, one spot in front of Japan's Kaori Sakamoto.
ESPN's Elaine Teng, Alyssa Roenigk and The Associated Press was used in this report.
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Russo-Ukrainian War

The Russo-Ukrainian War has been ongoing between Russia and Ukraine since February 2014.

Russia's war in Ukraine has proven almost every assumption wrong, with Europe now wondering what left is safe to assume.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Madonna’s most bizarre TikTok and Instagram videos of 2022 | Page Six Celebrity News
December 30, 2022
Ggk_RlohXuI
Teresa Giudice and Luis Ruelas stand by sex multiple times a day: It’s ‘normal’ | Page Six
December 30, 2022
AljKbtgRGnc
Lisa Hochstein shared video confronting Lenny Hochstein & girlfriend at Miami club #shorts | PageSix
December 30, 2022
j_JVk60r6EI
'Channel 5' Creator Andrew Callaghan Talks BTS of 'This Place Rules' Documentary Feature
December 30, 2022
dJit_YG5fjg
#brendanfraser on getting jacked to play 'George of the Jungle' after 'Airheads" with #adamsandler
December 30, 2022
bkwreE4eMRQ
Selena Gomez, Ryan Gosling and Julia Fox Top the List Of Variety's Best Red Carpet Moments Of 2022
December 29, 2022
pv2A-331cLg
Wiz Khalifa Joins Neek Bucks For Upcoming 'Shot Caller' Video | TMZ
December 26, 2022
TxkRr1jj-gk
Andrew Zimmern Says TikTok Recipes Need to Stop This Holiday Season | TMZ
December 26, 2022
DdlO88KfJoY
Top 7 WTF Moments of 2022 | TMZ
December 26, 2022
3JA-5abr6A4
Most HIGHLY ANTICIPATED Movies of 2023 | E! News
January 01, 2023
3-1K1VSRjys
22 Pop Culture Moments That Defined 2022: Link in Comments! #shorts | E! News
December 31, 2022
MNnChuudoSA
Suspect Charged With Murder in Idaho College Killings | E! News
December 31, 2022
aeonRlI5xL0
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - Aston Villa
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Nottingham Forest - Chelsea
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Coventry - Bristol City
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Blackburn - Cardiff City
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Huddersfield - Luton
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Millwall - Rotherham
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Blackpool - Sunderland
31
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Everton
31
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Wolves - Manchester United
31
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Brighton - Arsenal
31
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Espanyol
31
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Sociedad - Osasuna
31
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Bournemouth - Crystal Palace
31
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Newcastle United - Leeds
31
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Fulham - Southampton
31
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Villarreal - Valencia
30
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Valladolid - Real Madrid
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Leicester City
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
Birmingham - Hull City
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
Stoke City - Burnley
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
Norwich City - Reading
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Brentford
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
Swansea City - Watford
30
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Celta Vigo - Sevilla
30
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Cadiz - Almeria
30
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Mallorca
29
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Elche
29
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
West Bromwich Albion - Preston NE
29
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
Blackpool - Sheffield United
28
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leeds - Manchester City
27
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Nottingham Forest
27
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Bournemouth
26
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - West Ham United
26
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Brentford - Tottenham Hotspur
26
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Aston Villa - Liverpool
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.