(Photo: Matthew Stockman / Getty Images Sport)
Do you guys remember Yulia Lipnitskaya? I was just effusing about her the other day. She’s that fifteen-year old Russian figure skater who annihilated the competition during the group skate last week…but she fell down during her short program last night and now my heart is broken.
Remember last week, her country had already clinched the gold medal at the Sochi Olympics before she even set foot on the ice, but she still skated a routine that put her twelve points higher than the next competitor, American skater Gracie Gold? Who’s actually considered a really strong jumper and at age eighteen, has had an additional three years on planet Earth over Yulia that she’s presumably used to train. But none of that helped her, as there was just no way anyone was gonna come anywhere close to Yulia, who was racking up bonus points every time her foot touched the ice. Just take a look at her Biellmann spin, which was beyond ridiculous. HOW IS SHE SPINNING IN THAT POSITION.
The only place she got even a minor deduction last week was on her double toe triple lutz, for a little wobble on her landing. But other than that her program was beyond flawless, netting her a score of 141.5, a personal best, and doing a lot to clear her way to Olympic gold — at least in the minds of the audience, who couldn’t take their eyes off her.
But then last night — proving that there is a god and he is vengeful toward talented teenage Olympians and at-home-on-their-couch vegetators like myself who only want to live vicariously through aforementioned teenage Olympians — Yulia fell. And it wasn’t even during anything that technical. It was on the last jump of her otherwise perfect program, a very simple triple flip.
According to her coach:
“It was just a technical error. She came too close to the boards. There was no pressure.”
GAH. My poor broken heart, I hate it. SHE WAS SO CLOSE. And now she’s nine points back from the leader, South Korea’s Yu-na Kim. It’s still theoretically possible for her to get a gold medal if she skates a flawless long program today, but it’s an incredible longshot, and even getting on the podium will be a struggle.
Goodbye hopes and dreams. I’ll see you at the bottom of this pint of Ben & Jerry’s.