Olympic queen Shcherbakova makes career decision
Russian figure skating star Anna Shcherbakova has declared that she “still has the same goals” in an indication that the 18-year-old Olympic champion will not retire from competitive action.
Rumors have swirled in recent days that Shcherbakova could retire after she signaled that the bans imposed on Russian skaters because of the Ukraine conflict might be a factor in her decision.
But speaking on Russia’s Channel 1 on Thursday, Beijing gold medalist Shcherbakova suggested any retirement talk was premature.
“I’ll continue to skate, I still have the same goals. I want to train, to perform, to show my maximum at each competition, because it energizes me,” Shcherbakova said, according to TASS.
That news will come as a welcome relief to Shcherbakova’s legion of fans in Russia and beyond, following concerns trigged by her comments at the Channel One Cup in her homeland last weekend.
“I think [the situation] is not only confusing for me. No one knows what awaits us, so I will look at the situation,” Shcherbakova had said after captaining her team to victory at the exhibition event in Saransk.
“For now, I just want to take a break from this season and recover, because although it was successful, with bright moments, it was difficult for everyone.
“I want to take a breather, and then we will already make a decision closer to the new season.”
When asked if the uncertain future for Russians at international events would be a factor in her decision, Shcherbakova had replied: “Perhaps it will directly affect my decision, yes.”
Shcherbakova and her fellow Russian stars are currently in limbo after the ban imposed by the International Skating Union (ISU) on March 1 after Moscow launched its military offensive in Ukraine.
That decision forced Russian and Belarusian skaters to miss the recent World Championships in Montpellier, France, where Shcherbakova would have been the defending champion in the women’s singles event.