Alina Zagitova

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Alina Zagitova
Alina Zagitova at the World Championships 2019 - Awarding ceremony 03.jpg
Zagitova at the 2019 Worlds
Personal information
Native nameАлина Ильназовна Загитова
Full nameAlina Ilnazovna Zagitova
Country representedRussia Russia
Born (2002-05-18) 18 May 2002 (age 17)
Izhevsk, Udmurtia, Russia
ResidenceMoscow, Russia
Height1.58 m (5 ft 2 in)[1]
CoachEteri Tutberidze
Sergei Dudakov
Former coachNatalia Antipina
ChoreographerEteri Tutberidze
Daniil Gleikhengauz
Skating clubSambo 70
Former skating clubDYuSSh Izhevsk
Training locationsMoscow
Former training locationsIzhevsk
Began skating2007
World standing1 (2018–19)
5 (2017–18)
52 (2016–17)
Season's bests1 (2018–19)[2]
1 (2017–18)[3]
10 (2016–17)[4]
ISU personal best scores
Combined total238.43
2018 CS Nebelhorn Trophy
Short program82.08
2019 Worlds
Free skate158.50
2018 CS Nebelhorn Trophy

Alina Ilnazovna Zagitova (Russian: Али́на Ильна́зовна Заги́това,[5] Tatar: Алинә Илназ кызы Заһитова, born 18 May 2002) is a Tatar born, Russian figure skater, representing Russia. She is the 2018 Olympic champion, the 2019 World champion, the 2018 European champion, 2017–18 Grand Prix Final champion, and the 2018 Russian national champion. Zagitova also won a silver medal in the team event at the 2018 Winter Olympics, representing the Olympic Athletes from Russia team.[6]

Earlier in her career, she won gold at the 2017 World Junior Championships and at the 2016–17 Junior Grand Prix Final.

At the 2016–17 Junior Grand Prix Final, she became the first junior lady to achieve a total score above the 200 mark.[7] Zagitova has broken the world record once under the old system and four times under the new system.

Zagitova is the first Russian female figure skater who has managed to win Gold at the Olympic Games, World Figure Skating Championships, European Figure Skating Championships and Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final, she is the youngest and second ladies' singles skater, after Yuna Kim, to win gold in all major ISU championship titles including the Junior Grand Prix Series and Final, World Junior Championships, Grand Prix Series and Final, European Championships, World Championships, and Winter Olympic Games.

Personal life[edit]

Zagitova was born on 18 May 2002 in Izhevsk, Udmurtia,[8] she is the daughter of Leysan Zagitova[9] and Ilnaz Zagitov (ru), an ice hockey coach from Tatarstan,[10][11] both Volga Tatars. She has a sister, Sabina, who is five years younger than her,[12] she was nameless for a year until her parents decided to name her "Alina" after watching Russian rhythmic gymnast Alina Kabaeva.[13] She moved to Moscow at age 13 alongside her grandmother, and continues to live with her.[14] Throughout childhood, her hobby was drawing.[15] In an interview with Rita Mamun in Korea, Zagitova indicated that she is apparently a lover of pet animals keeping two exotic chinchillas at her home in Moscow, along with a dog and a cat.[16] Zagitova also owns an Akita Inu dog named Masaru, given to her by a Japanese breeder as a gift after the Pyeongchang Olympics.[17]

Career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Zagitova had her first formal skating lessons as a four-year-old with Damira Pichugina in Almetyevsk, Tatarstan, where her father was a hockey coach for the Neftyanik club.[18][8] After the family moved back to Izhevsk in 2008, she started training with coach Natalia Antipina.[19] In 2015 she moved to Moscow to be coached by Eteri Tutberidze and Sergei Dudakov.[8]

Zagitova finished 9th at the 2016 Russian Junior Championships after placing 12th in the short program and 8th in the free skate.

2016–2017 season: World Junior Champion[edit]

Zagitova (centre) with Marin Honda (left) and Kaori Sakamoto (right) at the 2017 World Junior Championships podium.

Zagitova's international debut came in late August 2016 at a 2016–17 ISU Junior Grand Prix (JGP) competition in Saint-Gervais-les-Bains, France; ranked first in both segments, she won the gold medal ahead of Kaori Sakamoto,[20] her total score at the event, 194.37 points, was the second highest ever achieved by a ladies' single skater on the junior level, behind only Polina Tsurskaya. Zagitova took the bronze medal at her JGP event in Slovenia, behind Japanese skaters Rika Kihira and Marin Honda; the results qualified her to the 2016–17 JGP Final, held in December in Marseille.

In France, Zagitova ranked first in both segments and scored new junior ladies' records in all categories, she was awarded the gold medal with a total of 207.43 points, 13 points above her teammate and silver medalist Anastasiia Gubanova (194.07). She became the first junior lady skater in history to have a total score above the 200 mark.[21]

Competing on the senior level in late December, Zagitova ranked third in the short and second in the free at the 2017 Russian Championships, winning the silver medal behind her training partner, Evgenia Medvedeva.[22] In February 2017, Zagitova won the gold medal at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Turkey.

At the 2017 World Junior Championships in Taipei, Zagitova placed first after the short program with 70.58 points. In the free program, she also placed first and won gold medal, she set two new world record of 138.02 points for junior ladies' free skating, and 208.60 points for combined total. [23]

2017–2018 season: Olympic champion and WR holder[edit]

Zagitova (centre) at the 2018 Winter Olympics podium.

Zagitova began her season with a win at the CS Lombardia Trophy, after placing third in the short but first in the free, with a total score of 218.46. For the 2017–2018 Grand Prix Season, Zagitova was assigned to two events, Cup of China and Internationaux de France.[24] At China, she was fourth after the short program, but rallied to win the free skate, and won the gold medal overall with a total competition score of 213.88. At the Internationaux de France, Zagitova placed fifth in the short program after a fall on her triple lutz and several under-rotation deductions. However, she placed first in the free skate with a new personal best score of 151.34 and took gold. Her results allowed her to qualify for the 2017–18 Grand Prix Final.[25]

At the Grand Prix Final, Zagitova scored a personal best in the short program, 76.27, and was in second place behind Kaetlyn Osmond heading into the free skate. Zagitova placed first in the free skate, despite two minor mistakes, and received a personal best overall competition score of 223.30, becoming the 2017–18 Grand Prix Final champion. Later that month, she won the Russian National title in Medvedeva's absence, earning first in both segments for a total score of 233.59 points.

At the 2018 Europeans, held in Moscow, Zagitova finished first, winning over teammate Evgenia Medvedeva, it was the first time Medvedeva had been beaten in over two years. On the next day, 21 January, Zagitova was named to the Russian Olympic team (together with Medvedeva and Maria Sotskova).[26]

At the Olympics team event, the 10 points Zagitova earned for the first place in the ladies' free skating helped Russia to a silver medal in the competition, she scored 158.08, setting a new personal best and breaking the record for the highest ever technical score in ladies' team figure skating.

In the ladies' individual event, Zagitova skated a clean short program and posted a world record score of 82.92, beating the previous record of 81.61 that Medvedeva posted earlier that evening.[27] Her total score of 239.57 was a new personal best. Zagitova won the gold medal in the event at age of 15 years and 281 days, became one of the youngest figure skating Olympic champions.

Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, awards Zagitova the Order of Friendship in 2018.

During the 2018 Olympics, The New York Times reported that Zagitova had performed the most technically difficult program in the history of ladies Olympic gold medalists by performing at a base value of 46.1, approximately 25% higher than that of Kristi Yamaguchi and Tara Lipinski in the 1990s, and more than double that of Dorothy Hamill during the Olympics in the 1970s. Previously, in 1998 Lipinski became the first woman to include a triple loop-triple loop combination in her Olympic program. By comparison, Zagitova completed the harder triple lutz-triple loop combination at the 2018 Olympics.[28]

In the free skating at the 2018 Olympics, Zagitova was the only competitor to perform all her (eleven) jumps in the second half of the program; this capitalized on the ISU scoring system, which awards a 10% bonus to jumps performed on "tired legs".[29][30] Her combination jump of triple lutz–triple loop was technically more difficult and higher scoring than those performed by her competitors irrespective of where it appeared in the program.[31][32][33]

Zagitova competed at the 2018 World Championships in Milan. In the short program, she placed second to Carolina Kostner, but fell three times in the free skate, where she placed seventh, she finished 5th overall, which was her only loss in the 2017–18 season.

2018–2019 season: World Champion[edit]

At the start of the season, the ISU records were reset, with the world records occurring before July 1, 2018 becoming historic records. Zagitova began the 2018–2019 season at the 2018 CS Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany, she came in first place after both the short program and free skate events, winning the gold with a total of 238.43 points. Due to the reset of previous records, her free skate and combined scores from this event are the current world records. Rika Kihira of Japan is the current holder of the short program record[34].

Alina Zagitova performs her short program at the 2019 Russian Figure Skating Championships

In early November Zagitova competed at her first Grand Prix event of the season, the 2018 Grand Prix of Helsinki, she was ranked first in both the short program and the free skate and won the gold medal by a margin of about 18 points over the silver medalist, her teammate Stanislava Konstantinova. In mid November she competed at her second Grand Prix event of the season, the 2018 Rostelecom Cup. Again she was ranked first in both programs and she won the gold medal by a margin of about 25 points over the silver medalist, her teammate Sofia Samodurova.

With two gold medals, she qualified to the 2018–19 Grand Prix Final; the Final was predicted by prognosticators to be a tight competition between Zagitova and Rika Kihira, who had earlier won the Ondrej Nepela Trophy after Zagitova had been compelled to withdraw due to visa issues.[35] Zagitova won the silver medal, behind Kihira, with both skaters making errors in the free skate. In Zagitova's case, she popped an attempted triple toeloop in her opening combination. Speaking afterward, she said, "you always want to be first, but this is not going to happen every time."[36]

At the 2019 Russian Championships, Zagitova comfortably placed first in the short program, saying she was "satisfied with [her] short program today, but there is still room to grow."[37] She did not have a successful free skate, falling twice and struggling during her choreographic sequence, she placed twelfth in the free skate, and fifth overall. However, the top three were junior competitors and thus ineligible for the European Championship team. Since Zagitova was second out of senior competitors, she was still granted an automatic place on the European Championship team despite finishing fifth, she did not speak to the media after the competition. In addition to her loss to junior competitors, Zagitova also lost against a senior eligible skater for the first time in domestic competition, when she placed below Stanislava Konstantinova.[38]

At the 2019 European Championships, Zagitova placed first in the short program despite an underrotation on her triple loop,[39] she fared poorly in the free skate, falling once and underrotating or downgrading the majority of her jumping passes, which led to her placing fourth in the free skate, and second overall, behind Samodurova and less than four points ahead of Finnish skater Viveca Lindfors. Speaking afterward, she said "It’s good I'm in the top three and the silver medal is also good – it could have been worse, so I’m happy with silver, but I wanted to do better for me personally."[40]

Zagitova (center) with Elizabet Tursynbayeva (left) and Evgenia Medvedeva (right) at the 2019 World Championships podium

Following the European Championships, Zagitova was chosen to represent Russia at the 2019 World Championships in Saitama, Japan, alongside Sofia Samodurova and a former training mate Evgenia Medvedeva. During the short program competition, Zagitova delivered a clean skate, obtaining high GOEs on the jumping elements including her signature combination triple Lutz-triple loop, she received a season's best score of 82.08, taking a lead of over five points ahead of Kaori Sakamoto who placed second, over eleven points ahead of Rika Kihira, who had been anticipated to be Zagitova's biggest rival in the fight for the gold medal. In the press conference afterward, she remarked, "Regarding today's program, I'm satisfied."[41] Two days after, Zagitova performed a clean free program for the first time in competition since Nebelhorn Trophy in September 2018, proceeding to receive a score of 155.42, the highest number of the day. With a combined score of 237.50, Zagitova was nearly thirteen points clear of the rest of the field after the competition, taking home her first World title in a dominant fashion.[42] The silver medal was awarded to Zagitova's current training mate Elizabet Tursynbaeva, while Medvedeva took the bronze medal. Shortly after the competition, Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Zagitova on her victory in a note published on the Kremlin website.[43]

2019-2020 season[edit]

Zagitova began the season at the Japan Open where she placed second, behind her team and training mate Alexandra Trusova, contributing to Team Europe's win.

Skating technique[edit]

Zagitova is known for her signature triple lutz-triple loop combination, and has also executed other triple loop combinations such as the triple flip-triple loop, she also performs other combinations, such as triple lutz-triple toe, double axel-triple toe, and the triple flip-double toe-double loop in competitions. She regularly employs the "Rippon" variation, with both arms over the head when jumping.

In addition, Zagitova is also the only female skater in history to have executed two fully back-loaded programs in the 2017-18 season, prior to the implementation of the eponymous "Zagitova Rule".[44]

Public Life[edit]

Zagitova was awarded the Order of Friendship by Vladimir Putin for her Olympic win at the 2018 Winter Olympics,[45] she is also a two-time winner of the Silver Doe Prize, awarded by the Federation of Sports Journalists of Russia, as one of the ten best athletes of 2017 and 2018. [46][47] She was named "Athlete of the Year" in the nomination "Pride of Russia" by the Ministry of Sport of Russia in 2018, leaving behind fencer Inna Deriglazova and gymnast Angelina Melnikova.[48] Forbes Russia's Top 30 Under 30 list named Zagitova as the top athlete in the sports category,[49] Zagitova is also part of the list of Top 40 most successful Russians from sport and show business under the age of 40.[50]

Endorsements[edit]

Zagitova has endorsed numerous brands over the years, she is the current global ambassador for Japanese cosmetic brand, Shiseido[51][52], and is also the ambassador for sports brand Puma[53]. Along with her pet dog Masaru, she also currently endorses Japanese mattress company, Airweave,[54] she has also advertised for Sberbank of Russia, and smartphone game "Madoka Magica".[55]

World records[edit]

World record scores[edit]

Zagitova has set the world record scores 4 times under the +5 / -5 GOE (Grade of Execution) system.

Senior ladies' combined total records
Date Score Event Note
28 September 2018 238.43 2018 CS Nebelhorn Trophy The record was broken by Alexandra Trusova at the 2019 CS Nepela Memorial
Senior ladies' short program records
Date Score Event Note
17 November 2018 80.78 2018 Rostelecom Cup The record was broken by Rika Kihira at the 2018–19 Grand Prix Final.
27 September 2018 79.93 2018 CS Nebelhorn Trophy
Senior ladies' free skate records
Date Score Event Note
28 September 2018 158.50 2018 CS Nebelhorn Trophy The record was broken by Alexandra Trusova at the 2019 CS Nepela Memorial

Historical world record scores[edit]

Note: Because of the introduction of the new +5 / -5 GOE (Grade of Execution) system which replaced the previous +3 / -3 GOE system, ISU has decided that all statistics starts from zero starting from season 2018–19 and all previous statistics are historical.[56]

Zagitova had set one senior world record score and five junior world record scores before season 2018–19.

Senior ladies' short program records[57]
Date Score Event Note
21 February 2018 82.92 2018 Winter Olympics Historical world record.
Junior ladies' combined total records
Date Score Event Note
19 March 2017 208.60 2017 World Junior Championships The record was broken by Alexandra Trusova at the 2018 Junior Worlds.
11 December 2016 207.43 2016–17 Junior Grand Prix Final Zagitova became the first junior lady to score above 200 points.
Junior ladies' short program records
Date Score Event Note
10 December 2016 70.92 2016–17 Junior Grand Prix Final Zagitova became the first junior lady to score above 70 points in the short program.
Record was broken by Alena Kostornaia of Russia at the 2017–18 Junior Grand Prix Final with 71.65 points.
Junior ladies' free skating records
Date Score Event Note
19 March 2017 138.02 2017 World Junior Championships The record was broken by Alexandra Trusova at the 2018 Junior Worlds.
11 December 2016 136.51 2016–17 Junior Grand Prix Final

Programs[edit]

Zagitova at the 2018 European Championships short program
Season Short program Free skating Exhibition
2019–2020
2018–2019
2017–2018
[58]
2016–2017
[8]
2015–2016

Competitive highlights[edit]

Zagitova at the 2017 World Junior Championships podium.
International[60]
Event 15–16 16–17 17–18 18–19 19–20
Olympics 1st
Worlds 5th 1st
Europeans 1st 2nd
GP Final 1st 2nd
GP Cup of China 1st
GP Finland 1st
GP France 1st TBD
GP NHK Trophy TBD
GP Rostelecom Cup 1st
CS Lombardia 1st
CS Nebelhorn 1st
International: Junior[60]
Junior Worlds 1st
JGP Final 1st
JGP France 1st
JGP Slovenia 3rd
EYOF 1st
National[19]
Russian Champ. 2nd 1st 5th
Russian Jr. Champ. 9th 1st
Team events
Olympics 2nd T
1st P
Japan Open 1st T
3rd P
2nd T
1st P
1st T
2nd P
TBD = Assigned; WD = Withdrew
T = Team result; P = Personal result.
At team events, medals awarded for team result only.

Detailed results[edit]

Small medals for short program and free skating awarded only at ISU Championships. At team events, medals awarded for team results only.

Senior level[edit]

Zagitova at the 2019 Russian Championships free skating
Zagitova at the 2018 Winter Olympics free skating

Current ISU world bests highlighted in bold and italic. Previous ISU world best highlighted in bold. Historical ISU world best highlighted in bold and italic. Personal bests highlighted in bold.

2019–20 season
Date Event SP FS Total
24–29 December 2019 2020 Russian Championships
TBD


22–24 November 2019 2019 NHK Trophy
TBD


1–3 November 2019 2019 Internationaux de France
TBD


5 October 2019 2019 Japan Open 2
154.41
1T
2018–19 season
Date Event SP FS Total
18–24 March 2019 2019 World Championships 1
82.08
1
155.42
1
237.50
21–27 January 2019 2019 European Championships 1
75.00
4
123.34
2
198.34
19–23 December 2018 2019 Russian Championships 1
80.62
12
131.41
5
212.03
6–9 December 2018 2018–19 Grand Prix Final 2
77.93
2
148.60
2
226.53
16–18 November 2018 2018 Rostelecom Cup 1
80.78
1
142.17
1
222.95
2–4 November 2018 2018 Grand Prix of Helsinki 1
68.90
1
146.39
1
215.29
6 October 2018 2018 Japan Open 1
159.18
2T
26–29 September 2018 2018 CS Nebelhorn Trophy 1
79.93
1
158.50
1
238.43
2017–18 season
Date Event SP FS Total
19–25 March 2018 2018 World Championships 2
79.51
7
128.21
5
207.72
14–25 February 2018 2018 Winter Olympics 1
82.92[61]
2
156.65
1
239.57
9–12 February 2018 2018 Winter Olympics (team event) 1
158.08
2T
15–21 January 2018 2018 European Championships 1
80.27
1
157.97
1
238.24
21–24 December 2017 2018 Russian Championships 1
78.15
1
155.44
1
233.59
7–10 December 2017 2017–18 Grand Prix Final 2
76.27
1
147.03
1
223.30
17–19 November 2017 2017 Internationaux de France 5
62.46
1
151.34
1
213.80
3–5 November 2017 2017 Cup of China 4
69.44
1
144.44
1
213.88
7 October 2017 2017 Japan Open 3
145.28
1T
14–17 September 2017 2017 CS Lombardia Trophy 3
71.29
1
147.17
1
218.46

Junior level[edit]

Previous ISU world bests highlighted in bold.

2016–17 season
Date Event Level SP FS Total
15–19 March 2017 2017 World Junior Championships Junior 1
70.58
1
138.02
1
208.60
13–15 February 2017 2017 European Youth Olympic Festival Junior 1
58.30
1
128.76
1
187.06
1–5 February 2017 2017 Russian Junior Championships Junior 1
74.46
1
142.36
1
216.82
20–26 December 2016 2017 Russian Championships Senior 3
74.26
2
146.95
2
221.21
8–11 December 2016 2016−17 JGP Final Junior 1
70.92
1
136.51
1
207.43
22–24 September 2016 2016 JGP Slovenia Junior 1
68.09
4
109.29
3
177.38
24–27 August 2016 2016 JGP France Junior 1
68.07
1
126.30
1
194.37
2015–16 season
Date Event Level SP FS Total
19–23 January 2016 2016 Russian Junior Championships Junior 12
52.85
8
108.08
9
160.93

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External links[edit]

World Record Holders
Preceded by
Russia Alexandra Trusova
Ladies' Short Program
27 September 2018 – 6 December 2018
Succeeded by
Japan Rika Kihira
Preceded by
Japan Rika Kihira
Ladies' Free Skating
28 September 2018 – 21 September 2019
Succeeded by
Russia Alexandra Trusova
Preceded by
Russia Alexandra Trusova
Ladies' Total Score
28 September 2018 – 21 September 2019
Succeeded by
Russia Alexandra Trusova
Historical World Record Holders (before season 2018–19)
Preceded by
Russia Evgenia Medvedeva
Ladies' Short Program
21 February 2018 – 01 July 2018
Succeeded by
The GOE system were changed.
Historical World Junior Record Holders (before season 2018–19)
Preceded by
Russia Polina Tsurskaya
Ladies' Junior Short Program
10 December 2016 – 7 December 2017
Succeeded by
Russia Alena Kostornaia
Preceded by
Russia Anastasiia Gubanova
Ladies' Junior Free Skating
11 December 2016 – 10 March 2018
Succeeded by
Russia Alexandra Trusova
Preceded by
Russia Polina Tsurskaya
Ladies' Junior Total Score
11 December 2016 – 10 March 2018
Succeeded by
Russia Alexandra Trusova