'I hate this sport': Tears, anger accompany medals for Russian figure skaters_laser freckle removal glasgow

'I hate this sport': Tears, anger accompany medals for Russian figure skatersThe gold medallist said she felt empty. The silver medallist pledged never to skate again. The favourite left in tears without saying a word. After one of the most dramatic nights in their sport's history, Russia's trio of teenage figure skating stars each enter an uncertain future.

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Trio of Valieva, Shcherbakova, Trusova faces uncertain future

James Ellingworth · The Associated Press(Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty Images)

The gold medallist said she felt empty. The silver medallist pledged never to skate again. The favourite left in tears without saying a word.

After one of the most dramatic nights in their sport's history, Russia's trio of teenage figure skating stars each enter an uncertain future.
  • Disastrous free skate keeps Kamila Valieva out of Olympic medal position
  • U.S. Olympic committee head says withholding medals 'unfair to the athletes'

Her Olympics and life turned upside down by a doping case, world record holder Kamila Valieva faces a possible ban and a coach whose first response to her disastrous skate Thursday was criticism.

"Why did you let it go? Why did you stop fighting?" cameras caught Eteri Tutberidze — the notoriously strict coach who will be investigated over Valieva's failed drug test — telling the 15-year-old after she fell twice and dropped out of medal contention.

WATCH | Valieva falters, finishes 4th:

15-year-old Kamila Valieva struggles in free skate, finishes 4th

1 day agoDuration 9:02The Russian figure skater fell twice in the final skate of her controversial performance at Beijing 2022.(AFP via Getty Images)

Trusova could be heard crying that she was the only one without a gold medal. The Russians won the team event using Valieva twice instead of allowing Shcherbakova or Trusova to skate one of the women's programs. That win could be stripped because of Valieva's doping case.

Trusova later said her comments about not skating again had been "emotional", the result of missing her family and her dogs, but didn't commit to compete at next month's world championships.

Gold medallist Shcherbakova with mixed emotions

Shcherbakova seemed unsure how to react to the drama unfolding around her, and said she felt sorry for Valieva. "I still don't comprehend what has happened. On the one hand I feel happy, on the other I feel this emptiness inside."

Shcherbakova arrived in Beijing as the world champion from 2021, but Valieva's record-breaking scores and Trusova's all-or-nothing quads turned her into an underdog to her younger teammates. Being called an Olympic champion was "unreal," Shcherbakova said. "I don't feel like it's me they're talking about."

WATCH | Shcherbakova claims gold:

Shcherbakova takes gold with beautiful skate in women's free program

1 day agoDuration 7:4017-year-old Russian Anna Shcherbakova secured top spot with an overall score of 255.95 at Beijing 2022.7:40

Russian skaters' careers are typically so short that at the age of 17, Shcherbakova almost immediately faced questions over whether she would retire.

"I have the desire to skate, and I can't even imagine being without figure skating," she said. The 2026 Olympics are a long way off, and no Tutberidze-trained woman has ever stayed in elite skating long enough to become a two-time Olympian. The last woman to retain the gold was Katarina Witt of East Germany in 1988.

Peter Jensen, a sports psychologist and Canadian Olympic trainer who has worked with numerous Canadian teams and athletes since the 1984 Olympics — including figure skaters such as Elvis Stojko and Brian Orser — wasn't surprised when Valieva faltered to finish short of the podium.

"You saw how close the emotion was to the surface in the short," said Jensen to CBC Sports. "It was there, it's bubbling up. The skate, to me, is an outward manifestation of what's going on inside of her."

The concern, however, should lay with the teenager, not the finish.

"This is a 15-year-old," Jensen said. "Skating has enough pressure to it to start with, you're on ice on a thin blade. There's all kinds of pressures to skating, then you add the Olympics to that. [The doping case situation] is on the people around her. And I want to know who's looking out for the person."

WATCH | Sports psychologist Peter Jensen on Valieva:

Mental performance expert breaks down Kamila Valieva's Olympic journey

23 hours agoDuration 6:54Longtime Olympic sport psychologist Peter Jensen talks to Dylan Moscovitch and Asher Hill and puts Kamila Valieva's mental challenges in Beijing into context.Canada keeps tabs as emerging 'legal issue' delays team figure skating medal ceremony

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