YEKATERINBURG, February 10. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s figure skating teen prodigy Yulia Lipnitskaya packs a unique set of flexibility and grace skills, which place her in sharp contrast with other skaters, a titled Russian gymnast said on Monday.
At the age of 15, Lipnitskaya, the youngest ever athlete participating for the Russian team at Winter Games, already won her first Olympic gold in team figure skating competition, which concluded on Sunday night in Sochi’s Iceberg Skating Palace.
Yulia Ivanova, the artistic gymnastics five-time world champion and three-time European champion, said in an interview with Itar-Tass caorrespondent that Lipnitskaya “has a flexibility of a gymnast.”
Ivanova said that her mother, who used to be a figure skater, said that figure skaters devote most of their practicing time to skating technique and that is why they do not have flexibility the gymnastics athletes have.
“What we see here is that the girl [Lipnitskaya] has plastique and flexibility skills, while her body moves are just outstanding,” Ivanova, who is also the bronze medalist of the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, said.
According to Ivanova, the spinning elements, which Lipnitskaya uses during her skating program performances, are very similar to the spinners in artistic gymnastics.
“However, they [the spinners] look more colorful when performed on skating blades,” Ivanova said adding Lipnitskaya is a “genius athlete.”
Lipnitskaya, who comes from the Russian Urals city of Yekaterinburg, hit the international media headlines last month, when she skated to gold in the Figure Skating European Championships. With less than a month after her European victory, the 15-year-old figure skater grabbed the Olympic gold at the 2014 Winter Games in Russia’s Sochi.