17-Year-Old Figure Skater Saves Russia's Nightmare Day At The Olympics With A Flawless Routine

Before 15-year-old Yulia Lipnitskaya destroyed everyone in the figure skating team event, Adelina Sotnikova was supposed to be best Russian figure skater in Sochi.

In the short program on Wednesday, she showed why.

After a disastrous day for Russian sports — where Lipnitskaya fell and Russia’s hockey team crashed out of the Olympics — the 17-year-old Sotnikova threw down a flawless routine in the short program.

Sotnikova actually beat Lipnitskaya at the Russian nationals last year. But with the fanfare around Yulia, she was considered the “other Russian” going into the individual event.

Her score of 74.64 was just just 0.32 points behind world record holder Yuna Kim, putting them in a virtual tie going into the long program. Despite a slightly less difficult program than Kim’s, Sotnikova outscored the South Korean in the technical score area, and stayed within 0.3 points in the subjective component score area.

She could ease the pain from a series of Russian disappointments at this Olympics with a good free skate Thursday night.

The buzz on her is that she’s a taller, more polished version of Lipnitskaya, according to the New York Times.

She was ecstatic:

Shocked by the high score:

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