Price of success: Olympic champ Zagitova skated with severe blisters at nationals, photos reveal
The reason for Zagitova’s underwhelming performance at the nationals – which served as the main selection to the Russian team – has been shown after the skater’s fan group posted a series of pictures showing a sizable burn on her right foot, surrounded by blisters she received from intensive training.
The reigning Olympic champion produced an underwhelming performance at the national trials, finishing in a disappointing fifth place behind junior skaters who swept the podium in Saransk.
Zagitova’s error-riddled free routine in particular led critics to discuss her possible exclusion from the team for international events.
The 16-year-old, however, did not cite the injury for her poor results, merely saying that she needed to train harder to make her jumps more solid and stable.
On, Friday the skater’s fan page TeamZagitova published pictures of the athlete’s damaged foot, asking followers to imagine the amount of pain Zagitova was forced to withstand to make it to the national team.
“We all remember the words of Daniil Markovich (Gleikhengauz) during the Exhibition Gala of the Russia Figure Skating Championships in Saransk about Alina’s burn,” the post says.
“This carousel post contains the photo of that burn. It’s hard to imagine how difficult it was for her to train and compete. No comment is needed. She went through it with DIGNITY! Our hero! Thank you! And please take care of yourself!
“PS: When we received those photos the first thing we did was a question to Alina ‘Is it the truth?’ She confirmed it. The publication is authorized.”Also on rt.com 'Beautifully, technically, confidently': Putin lauds Alina Zagitova for figure skating success
According to the skater's coach Gleikhengauz, the skater received the burn while receiving heat treatment to ease sore joints.
Zagitova redeemed herself for her unimpressive skating at the national and European championships by taking gold at the 2019 world championships in Japan, adding yet another title to her growing collection of awards.