China keen on tour with Russian teen skating queens
A Chinese company is hoping to capitalize on the popularity of Russian figure skating stars Anna Shcherbakova, Kamila Valieva and Alexandra Trusova by organizing a tour in the country, a CEO has said.
According to Li Jun of Beijing Global Dynamic Media, the Russian trio enjoy immense popularity and a serious of shows would be a blockbuster success.
“We are actively planning a tour of Russian athletes such as Anna Shcherbakova, Alexandra Trusova and Kamila Valieva in China, which will actually be very beneficial for them in the future,” Li told Russian outlet RIA.
The CEO said the three stars are collectively nicknamed ‘Sanva’ in China, meaning ‘Three Va’ in a nod to the endings of the surnames of the skating sensations.
“We hope that the Sanva – Shcherbakova, Trusova and Valieva – will soon be able to come to China to participate in an ice show to fulfill the desire of many fans and give them the opportunity to see the performance of Russian skaters live, because they skate incredibly beautifully and impressively,” said Li.
In a further sign of Shcherbakova’s particular popularity, the Chinese CEO claimed that a recent NFT issued by the skater had broken the record for the sports industry in the country.
“In fact, Chinese fans know a lot about Anna, they pay attention to what she does every day, they know where Anna goes, how many points she scored on her [school] exams, what new [skating] programs she introduced,” he added.
Shcherbakova, 18, cemented her star status by winning Olympic gold in Beijing in February, adding to the world title she won last year.
Trusova, also 18, clinched silver in Beijing but made history along the way by becoming the first women’s skater to land five quads in a single routine.
Valieva, 16, starred as Russia won gold in the Olympic team event but saw her individual hopes collapse under the weight of a doping scandal. She remains the world record holder for points tallies for her short skate and free program routines.
Russian skaters are currently banned from international competition by the ISU because of the conflict in Ukraine, meaning they are set to miss the entirety of the 2022/23 season.
Russia has also been stripped of the Grand Prix it traditionally hosts as part of the ISU series.
But in another sign that they remain in demand, it was recently announced that ‘quad queen’ Trusova will hold a masterclass in Swedish capital Stockholm on August 27-28.