End of Russia’s ice skating dominance … at least until Sochi

Canada, Vancouver: Bronze medallists, Russia's Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin, perform in the Ice Dance Free program at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, during the 2010 Winter Olympics on February 22, 2010. (AFP Photo / Yuri Kadobnov)
Ice dancers Oksana Domnina and Maksim Shabalin have secured the latest bronze for Russia. The judges put the Russian pair behind Canada’s Virtue and Moir, who took gold, and America’s Davis and White.

Another good day and another hat-trick of medals for Russia. All of them bronze, but they all count – and lift Russia to fourth in the overall medals table, ahead of Canada.

Russian ice dancers Domnina and Shabalin showed a solid performance in the final free dance, despite Maksim’s serious knee injury.

The pressure was squarely on the World and European Champions after slipping to third the day before. However, they coped with it to bring Russia a second medal in figure skating.

"We skated as well as we could," Domnina said. "Actually, we probably did more than Maxim's condition allowed us to do."

"We are happy with the bronze medal. It was a long, difficult way for us, and we are happy we did it," Shabalin said. "We gave everything out there on the ice."

Meanwhile, given that Russia has no gold medals in figure skating so far, and only the women’s event left, in which Russia has only a small chance of winning a medal, the Olympics in Vancouver seem to have ended the Soviet-Russian dominance in the sport. Time will tell if it can be reclaimed in Sochi.