Nerves and tension were the main problems for first-time Olympians striving to beat the champions in the Figure Skating competition at Olympic Ice Stadium from Jan 14-21. Such was the case for Elizaveta Tuktamisheva (RUS), who came to the Innsbruck 2012 Youth Olympic Winter Games as one of the favourites with her compatriot and rival Adelina Sotnikova (RUS).
Tuktamisheva has had to settle for second place so often as Sotnikova grabbed the glory, but it was her time to triumph in Innsbruck as she won gold in the Ladies' Figure Skating. The Russian produced a stunning routine in the Free Programme to take her total to 173.10 points and ensure she walked away with the gold medal. She admitted later that to be considered one of the top-rated athletes going into the event had added to the pressure she felt on her.
Sotnikova, who was forced to settle for silver having scored 159.08 points, was at a loss to explain why she did not perform as well as usual, but knew something had made her nervous.“It is something mental,” she said. Only China's Zijun Li said she had had a cool head skating her season’s best to claim the bronze medal.
In the Men’s Singles, Han Yan (CHN) skated skillfully enough to clinch gold, but did not perform the triple axel he is famous for. Weakened by fever and energy consumption after demanding competitions at the Chinese National Championships, he chose to reduce the complexity of his Free Programme. He scored a total of 192.45 points.
The silver medallist, younger and shorter Shoma Uno (JPN) totalled 167.15, by some distance, while Feodosi Efremenkov (RUS) claimed bronze with 163.46 points. Uno said he had attended activities at the Culture and Education Programme as a way to relax.
Russian duo Sergey Mozgov (RUS) and Anna Yanovskaya's (RUS) thought that the huge crowd and expectations heaped on them helped them to perform to gold-medal level, but Yanovskaya admitted she was feeling nervous on the ice.
Bronze medallists Maria Simonova (RUS) and Dmitri Dragun (RUS) confessed they top had felt the Olympic jitters, while silver medallists Aleksandra Nazarova (UKR) and Maxim Nikitin (UKR) were just too shocked at having reached the podium at all.
Ice dancer Yang JIN (CHN), 17, was proud her partner Xiaoyu Yu (CHN), 15, was able to handle pressure well at such an important event.The Chinese secured gold after having scored 153.82 points, while Lina Fedorova (RUS) and Maxim Miroshkin (RUS) took silver with 134.19 points, Anastasia Dolidze (RUS) and Vadim Ivanov (RUS) won the bronze medal with 112.72.
In the mixed-National Olympic Committee team event, team spirit and international friendship took centre stage.
The gold medal went to Shoma Uno (JPN), Jordan Bauth (USA) and couple Eugenia Tkachenka (BLR) and Yuri Gulitski (BLR) in Team 4. Eveliina Viljanen (FIN), Yaroslav Paniot (UKR) and Ice Dancers Maria Simonova (RUS) and Dmitri Dragun (RUS) claimed silver in Team 2. Team 6, consisting of So Youn Park (KOR), Alexander Lyan (KAZ) and French couple Estelle Elizabeth and Romain Le Gac, took the bronze medal. The athletes were thrilled to be on the podium and delighted by the mixed-NOC format. “I am extremely pleased to win Gold in the team event, I will go home with a pleasant feeling,” Uno said. I feel extremely grateful to my teammates [for this victory].”
Bauth was equally thrilled with a place on top of the podium. “It is amazing [to win gold]. I cannot believe this is happening right now. This event was a really good experience.” With the bronze medal around his neck, also Le Gac praised the mixed-NOC Team event. “It was a very good idea," he said. "I hadn’t talked to the other skaters before, now there is friendship, it is very interesting.”
The ice dance couples focus on intricate footwork performed in close dance holds, all executed in time with the music. The event will consist of a compulsory dance, an original dance to a set ballroom rhythm and a free dance.
Ice Dance Short Dance - Results details
This event will consist of a short programme, where skaters have to complete a list of required elements, and a free-skating element.
Men's Short Program - Results details
Women's Short Program - Results details
The team will features representatives from all four events (one woman (singles), one man (singles) and one ice dance couple from four different countries. Each skater/couple performs a free-skating and free-dance programme.
Mixed NOC team event - Results - Medallists
The teams competing in the pairs event comprise one man and one woman performing singles elements in unison, as well as pair-specific elements such as throw jumps. There will be a short programme and a free-skating element.
Pairs Short Program - Results details