Picture perfect: Russian 13yo sensation Valieva wows figure skating world with Picasso routine
Russia’s seemingly endless figure skating talent factory has a new face in the form of Kamila Valieva, 13, who has wowed fans and pundits with her Picasso-inspired routine “Girl on the ball” at pre-season test skating.
A member of revered trainer Eteri Tutberidze’s team, Valieva has already been named one of the favorites to win the 2022 Olympics in China despite her tender years.
Coaching legend Turberidze, who guided Alina Zagitova to the coveted Olympic title in 2018, has long been associated with her country’s dominance in female skating, nurturing multiple young talents to the international stage.
The tough competition inside the team has made Tutberidze’s group the main supplier of future champions, where achieving national selection is often harder than winning international titles.
Along with Alexandra Trusova and Alena Kostornaya – who have already caused a revolution in figure skating, becoming first female skaters to include quads in their programs – Tutberidze has a new rising star in Valieva, a youngster who appears to float on the ice.
Her incredible flexibility and dazzling spins recently captivated pundits at an event in Novogorsk, where she was roundly proclaimed as a future star of Russian figure skating.
Valieva’s interpretation of Picasso’s painting “Girl on the ball” earned high praise from Tutberidze, who dubbed the routine “her favorite program of the year.”
Picasso’s granddaughter Diana Widmaier was so impressed by Valieva’s routine that she even invited the skater to visit Paris.
The talented youngster has already included a quadruple toe-loop in her program and plans to add several more top-class elements, including quadruple salchow and triple axel.
Valieva will make her debut at junior level this season, attempting to prolong Russia’s winning streak set by Zagitova and Trusova.