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The brightest single skaters in history

YULIA LIPNITSKAYA

The youngest winner in the history of Olympic figure skating Yulia Lipnitskaya became the main sensation of Sochi-2014. The 15-year-old skater, who, among other venerable pros, won the team competition, was applauded by President V.V. Putin, stars of Russian figure skating and all the Western media without exception. “With her incredibly light triple jumps, acrobatic spins and champion temperament, Julia Lipnitskaya led Russia to the first gold award in the Sochi Olympics,” writes The Washington Post. In addition, Steven Spielberg himself wrote her a touching letter, stunned by her skating to the music from his film Schindler’s List.

“She impressed the judges and spectators with a combination of skiing elegance and exceptional flexibility,” says Julie The Guardian praises.

Exceptional flexibility, phenomenal rotation, but the main thing is the subtlety of performance and special drama, which no one expected from a 15-year-old girl, allow us to talk about her as one of the most talented skaters in history.

KATARINA WITT

Katarina Witt is the legendary skater, the most famous and titled, Olympic champion in single skating (1984, 1988), four-time world champion, six-time European champion (1983-1988 in a row), eight-time champion of the German Democratic Republic. An outstanding single player became the legend of the 80s – it was she who, for the first time in the history of the world championships in 1981, performed the most difficult jump – a triple flip. Witt’s career was so impeccable that after leaving amateur sports, the girl became a participant and producer of ice shows and for a long time worked under a contract with the American ice ballet troupe. In addition, Katarina was considered one of the most beautiful women of her time – men’s magazines often offered her participation in candid photo shoots, which she often did not neglect.

OKSANA BAYUL

Ukrainian Oksana Bayul is a real legend of women’s single skating, the 1994 Olympic champion, who performed one of the best short programs in the history of figure skating (to the music of Tchaikovsky). The crazy popularity of the Soviet girl in the USA, where she emigrated after a resounding success, was also associated with a number of scandals and funny things around her name. So, at the Nations Cup competitions in November 1992, the 14-year-old Oksana fell on a jump, but was phenomenally able to beat the fall with dance moves, and then performed a triple salchow. In January 1993, as a European Championship debutant in the original dance, she made a mistake in the cascade of jumps, and then discovered that she was riding with a laced boot. The girl stopped the execution and turned to the judges – after the meeting they allowed to re-execute the entire program.

But the most dramatic moment of her sporting life was the Lillehammer Olympics in 1994. Losing to the beautiful and beloved of America Nancy Carrigan, Bayul was also attacked by a figure skater from Germany – with a damaged back and lower leg, with stitches and painkillers, Oksana performed a free program, performing five triple jumps. 5 out of 9 judges preferred her, leaving Kerrigan’s clear favorite in second place. Later, American television channels broadcast a controversial moment, focusing on the biased decision of German judge Jan Hoffman.

After completing her amateur career, Oksana moved to the United States, performed as a professional, and was treated in rehabs for alcoholism and mental health problems.

SURIA BONALI

The energy volcano, an incredible skater who became the sensation of the 90s and a real star, the 5-time European champion (1991-1995) and the 9-time French champion, Suria Bonali, however, never became the world champion. Around her name there has always been a lot of controversy and even scandals – on the one hand, she performed a number of technically complex elements that were no longer subject to anyone in the world (for example, a back somersault, which was considered a forbidden element; a quadruple sheepskin coat), on the other hand, mandatory for a figured skating elements such as a triple sheepskin coat performed with obvious undercooling. Record equipment compensated for the quality of the slip – Suria Bonali was adored by the whole world, and her fans sincerely believed that the judges were underestimating the skater. In addition, Bonali went down in history as the only skater who refused to climb the podium due to disagreement with the ratings.

Michelle Kwan

The main star of American figure skating in singles, for a decade Michelle Kwan was considered an unattainable athlete.

An American of Chinese descent became a two-time Olympic medalist (although sensationally did not take 1 place each time), a five-time world champion (second only to Sony Heny’s record) and a nine-time US champion. She is the only woman in figure skating to win the lost world champion title three times (1998, 2000, 2003).

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