Kamila Valieva

For the first time in history, Russian figure skaters lost their maximum quota in all four disciplines at the World Championships. When Russia will be able to return the quotas and why the current situation threatens to lose a generation of talented skaters – about this in the material of RBC

Read us at


Kamila Valieva

(Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Is it fair that Russia was deprived of maximum quotas?

For the first time in history, the Russian national figure skating team was left without a maximum quota at the world championships in all four disciplines – women’s, men’s, pair skating and ice dancing. This decision was made by the International Skating Union (ISU) because of missing the last world championship, where the Russians were not allowed because of the situation in Ukraine.

This happened a day after ISU was criticized by the coach of the world’s leading figure skaters, Eteri Tutberidze, who said it was absurd to update the ISU ratings and award titles in tournaments in which Russian athletes do not participate.

Bronze medalist of the 2011 World Cup Artur Gachinsky noted that the decision to deprive the maximum quota was expected in connection with the skipping of the last World Cup team. “If representatives of a certain country do not participate in the tournament or do not gain the required amount of points based on the results of the performances of the members of the national team, then the number of quotas for the next year is reduced,” said Gachinsky “Match TV”. – Russia has problems with this now, because no one competed from our country at the last World Championships. Accordingly, the quota for the new season is minimal. These rigid limits have always been.

Figure skating coach Tamara Moskvina is confident that the ISU would make a similar decision for any country. “Now many have begun to talk about some underlying reason in this matter, but the ISU approached him in accordance with its own rules. Of course, it’s a pity, but such rules have existed for a long time, and everyone knows them. If any other country were in our place, be it Canada or the United States, it would fall under the same rules, ”said Moskvina. TASS.

How can I return the maximum quotas

If Russian athletes are admitted to the 2023 World Championships, in order to return the maximum quota in a certain discipline, you need to win at least silver. Otherwise, you will be able to get only one more place (provided that you get into the top 10).

However, the likelihood of the Russians performing at the upcoming World Cup is small. The ISU has already announced the extension of the suspension for another season. Thus, the Russians, at best, will be able to speak in a year. At the same time, the team will have one representative in each discipline.

Why Russia will “lose a whole generation of talented figure skaters”

The quota reduction will hit the single skaters the hardest. Over the past decade, Russia has consistently had three places (the maximum possible) in competitions among women, couples and dance duets. In the Russian national team, the highest competition among girls, where since 2014 Russian women have been an order of magnitude superior to representatives of other countries, as evidenced by the entire podium at the 2021 World Cup and the European Championship.

At the same time, in the last five years, competition has increased so much that sometimes even three places were not enough for all titled figure skaters. For example, Evgenia Medvedeva, Alena Kostornaya, Elizaveta Tuktamysheva were outside the national team.

Now the strongest figure skaters of the planet will have to fight for one single ticket to the World Championships. In addition, for current leaders, missing one or two years is critical.

The medalists of the 2021 World Cup and the 2022 Olympics Anna Shcherbakova and Alexandra Trusova will be 20 years old in a year. Since 2019, they have consistently dominated women’s figure skating. And in terms of sports, they could not fully realize their potential, because due to the pandemic and the suspension, they performed at only one World Cup. In fact, the 2022 Olympics became the second major tournament in their careers for them. At 20 years old, even taking into account the increase in the age limit, it will be difficult to compete in a discipline where, since 2014, 16-18-year-old figure skaters have invariably dominated.

Kamila Valieva is experiencing a great tragedy. Even before her debut at international adult tournaments, experts admired Valieva, calling her the most talented figure skater of the generation.

Tatyana Navka, in the course of working with Valieva, noted that “I have never seen such a talent in my life.” “She is simply incredible and amazing. She works great with her. I have never seen such a talent in my life.” shared opinion from Match TV. Valieva was admired even by world stars of show business and cinema.

Before the Beijing Olympics, the 16-year-old Russian woman won all the competitions of the season, including the Russian and European championships. There was no doubt about her triumph at the upcoming Olympics and the World Championships. This was also indicated by the very low odds of the bookmakers.

However, the doping scandal and the ensuing harassment prevented Valieva from performing satisfactorily in the free program, where she made a record number of falls. As a result, the Russian woman, who was confidently leading after the short program, did not even make it into the top three. And then Russia was suspended from the World Cup, in connection with which its season ended ahead of schedule.

In a year, Valieva will be 18 years old, and she will probably have to compete with 17-year-old athletes to get to the World Championships. And this is in a discipline where the difference in a year is critical.

World Champion Maria Butyrskaya notedthat “for girls, of course, this is a small tragedy.” “It turns out that only one of them will get the opportunity to take part in the championship of the planet. On the other hand, they introduced an age limit, so they will still have the opportunity to prove themselves without fear that 15-year-old competitors will come to replace them, ”Butyrskaya told RT.

Tatyana Tarasova stressed that Russia risks losing a whole generation of figure skaters due to the deprivation of the maximum quotas. “You can probably say that we risk losing a whole generation because of the decisions of the ISU. We have several pairs and singles, and in any form we would have two, three prizes, ”the coach who raised the Olympic champions told RBC Sport.

This statement was agreed by the silver medalist of the 1994 Olympics in ice dancing, coach of Olympic champions Alexander Zhulin. “Yes, you can really say that we have lost a whole generation of talented skaters because of the actions of the ISU. Is it possible to return the maximum quota in the future? So I will say, first we need to be returned. And it will take a couple of years, plus a few more years to regain ground. The situation is bad,” Zhulin told RBC Sport.

Leave a Reply