US Coach Says The Judges Are In The Tank For 15-Year-Old Figure Skating Prodigy Yulia Lipnitskaya

On the eve of the women’s figure skating competition, U.S. coach Frank Carroll took some shots at Yulia Lipnitskaya, the 15-year-old Russian prodigy who dominated the team competition.

He called her a “little girl,” and said her component scores are overmarked by the judges.

The component score is the subjective part of figure skating judging. Whereas the technical score is based on objective metrics for adding and deducting points, component score is based on skating skills, transitions, performance, choreography, and interpretation.

Carroll says Lipnitskaya, who had particularly high component scores at the European Championships and the Olympic team event last week, doesn’t deserve such high marks.

From USA Today:

“The judges are going to do what they want, but the little girl, you know, Yulia (Lipnitskaya), she’s very, very good, extremely talented, I admire her skating, I think she’s wonderful. Is she a 10, a score of 10 in the program component scores? Or 9.5? I don’t think so.”

“I think that she will be that way (a 9.5 or 10) and I think she will mature with time and be fantastic but I don’t think that time is now. I think the jumping is incredible and she’s great fun to watch, but is she the ladies’ Olympic champion? When you look at it, is this the ladies’ Olympic champion? I don’t know.”

Carroll coaches top U.S. skater Gracie Gold, who’s considered a steep underdog in the individual event.

In another dig at Lipnitskaya, he said Gold skates like a “woman,” not a “kid:”

“I think Gracie skates like a woman. I think she skates like a young lady, not like a youngster, not like a kid. She doesn’t skate like a kid. I think there’s a maturity to it.”

Lipnitskaya wasn’t on the world figure skating map until last fall. She made a name for herself by becoming the youngest European champion ever in January. Last week she became the breakout star of the Sochi Olympics with a dazzling short program in the team event.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.