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Russian Ice Skating Rivals Battle for Gold

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Courtesy of USA Today Sports

Courtesy of USA Today Sports

Courtesy of USA Today Sports

Haley Guinn, Staff Writer

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  Russian figure skater Alina Zagitova won a gold medal at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games with a grand total of 239.57 points, her personal best.

  Her friend, and rival, 18 year-old Russian Evgenia Medvedeva took home the silver medal with a close score of 238.26 points.

   For years, Medvedeva has dominated the ice, proving to be one of the best in the sport. She is a two-time European champion, a two-time World champion, and on top of this, she now wears two silver Winter Olympic medals around her neck.

   However, Zagitova is also a  highly-respected Russian skater. She is also a European champion, and now she is a Winter Olympic gold medalist at the age of 15.

  When Zagitova became the European champion this past January, she was the first person to beat Medvedeva in that competition in two years. This victory led to people to further anticipate watching them compete against each other  in Pyeongchang.

  Medvedeva explained her rivalry with Zagitova, saying, “When we take the ice this is sport and we must fight. This is sport‒this is war.”

  Siya Shah (11) gave her opinion on the girls’ performances.

  She said, “I think they both did stunningly, but they just had different song choices, style, and Alina packed all her jumps into the second half of her performance.”

  Despite Medvedeva’s beautiful, world-record performance to the movie soundtrack “Anna Karenina,” Zagitova broke her record and earned the same free-skate score with her challenging and technical performance to “Don Quixote.” This lead her to win gold, defeating Medvedeva with a close difference of 1.31 points.

  Marin Casey (11), a fan of Medvedeva, said, “Evgenia should have won gold. She was both graceful and her skating and dancing were beautiful. Zagitova on the other hand looked stiff, all of her movements were robotic almost.”

  While being rivals, Medvedeva and Zagitova maintain a healthy friendship. Medvedeva says, “We are humans, we communicate as usual, we are friends, we are girls, young girls. We can talk about everything to each other.”

   The 2018 Winter Olympics may have concluded, however these young rivals have many future competitions ahead of them as they work to improve and remain on top of the skating world.

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Russian Ice Skating Rivals Battle for Gold