‘I’m not chasing titles like Zagitova and Medvedeva’: Russian figure-skating champ Kostornaia on her career goals
The newly crowned European champion, who has been training under the watchful eyes of Russia’s famed coach Eteri Tutberidze, said losing an Olympic gold would not be a tragedy for her, because performing at a competition of such caliber is already a huge achievement for any professional athlete.
The 16-year-old compared herself with decorated teammates Alina Zagitova and Evgenia Medvedeva, whose battle for the 2018 Olympic crown turned the women’s figure-skating event at the Pyeongchang Games into a nail-bitingly thrilling event.
“For me, participating in the Olympic Games is already an enormous success. Winning a silver medal is a result that only a few athletes can achieve,” Kostornaia said. “Becoming one of the world’s top-three skaters is a reason for happiness, isn’t it? I’m not chasing titles like Alina Zagitova and Evgenia Medvedeva did.
“It was very important for Alina to collect all the possible titles that existed in figure skating. Zhenya [Medvedeva], who finished second at the Olympics, continues skating to prove she can still be number one,” the rising star added.
In her first senior season, Kostornaia has triumphed in both the ISU Grand Prix Final and European Championships. She is widely regarded as one of the most technically gifted skaters of her generation, with the triple-axel jump being her forte.
Is Alena #Kostornaia's triple axel the best ever in the women's field?The answer is yours.In the short program of the Russian Championships she got 89.86 points out of the 93.90 available with an incredible TES of 51.55. pic.twitter.com/4jQg4wmR70— Massimiliano Ambesi (@max_ambesi) December 27, 2019
There are dozens of immensely talented skaters on the Russian team, so it won’t be an easy task to get onto the national Olympic squad, which has just three coveted spots to grab.
“I’m just savoring the moment and enjoying my sporting career right now. I don’t have a list of achievements I feel I should definitely accomplish. My top goal is to perform at the Winter Games. I’d be happy if I managed to make it to the national squad. Of course I want to win, but losing at the Olympics […] would not be tragedy for me.”