Russian figure skaters show off against Swiss backdrop
Newly-crowned European pairs champions Tatiana Volosozhar and Maksim Trankov, along with some other Russian skaters, became the highlight of an ice show in Switzerland.
Vaillant Arena in Davos brought together the best pairs and single skaters from around the globe, with two-time world champion Miki Ando of Japan showing off her emotional style and breath-taking elegance.
However, it was Russia that was most widely represented. In addition to the country's young talents Elizaveta Tuktamysheva and Artur Gachinski, the show's lucky spectators had the chance to watch Europe's best couples as well.
Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov won bronze at last month's European Championship, while the gold went to their compatriots Tatiana Volosozhar and Maksim Trankov.
This time both pairs didn't have to compete, but their beautiful gliding and engaging choreography showed their desire to never stop improving.
Meanwhile, an extraordinary light show and video projections on the ice punctuated the amazing performances.
“The atmosphere is just amazing,” Maksim Trankov said. “When you go out of the arena – you see such a beautiful picture. Clear sky, mountains, people skiing around. We always come here with great pleasure and enjoy the time here.”
But for Ilinykh and Katsalapov it wasn’t all about having fun, but a chance to improve their skill as well.
“This show helped us a lot, I think, because here we can go for some things that are not allowed in real competition,” Ilinykh explained. “It’s quite useful. And It’s also great to have so many people watching.”
In the meantime, the Swiss audience had a chance to enjoy their countrymen's splendor. 2011 European Champion Sarah Meier entertained the home crowd alongside two-time World Champion Stephane Lambiel.