'Why hide what decorates me?' Russian Olympic figure skating champion Sotnikova shows neck scar after spinal surgery
Sotnikova, 23, became Russia’s first ever ladies' singles figure skating gold medalist when she triumphed on home soil at the 2014 Winter Games.
But while the victory made Sotnikova a national sweetheart, it failed to ignite more success as she faced troubles on and off the ice in the ensuing years.
Sotnikova officially announced her retirement in March of this year, having not competed internationally since 2015 due to persistent injuries, although still taking part in gala shows.
The skate star also revealed this month that she was due to undergo spinal surgery, with her injury pain becoming so severe that she “couldn’t sleep or sit” properly.Also on rt.com Spinal implants & titanium screws: Sochi Olympic champion figure skater Adelina Sotnikova announces retirement following surgery
After having titanium screws inserted into her vertebrae, Sotnikova has now bravely shown the lengthy neck scar from the operation to her 73,000 Instagram followers.
“Everyone looks at my scar like that and says how brave I am that I do not hide it,” Sotnikova wrote.
“Why hide what decorates me?"
“I really like it. You have to show yourself with scars as if it’s a necklace [worth] a billion, right? Right."
While Sotnikova was replaced by a younger generation of Russian skating stars such as Evgenia Medvedeva and Alina Zagitova, she remains a popular figure in her homeland, making appearances on TV and in gala shows.
She has, however, suffered ill-fortune away from the ice, reportedly being swindled of $32,000 by fake fortune tellers who promised to help her with her boyfriend troubles.
The fraudsters were later arrested by police, according to reports in Russia.