Yulia Lipnitskaya’s coach, Eteri Tutberidze, is blaming the Russian media for the 15-year-old’s poor performance in the singles event at the Olympics, according to Yahoo!. After wowing everyone during the team performance, Lipnitskaya was expected to medal in the singles, but she fell twice and came in fifth.
Tutberidze claims that the Russian media bugged Lipnitskaya’s locker room in Moscow, where she went between the team and singles events to practice. Tutberidze also says the media “stalked” Lipnitskaya’s family who live in a small village in the Ural Mountains.
In order to avoid the press, Lipnitskaya had to book several flights so they were unaware of her travel itinerary, and she had to be escorted out of practice every night. Tutberidze said:
“It was laughable because we had to evacuate this child from the practice rink. Listening devices and bugs were found installed in the locker room. And these weren’t done by fans.”
It seems Lipnitskaya was affected by this intense coverage, but says that it wasn’t the biggest reason for her lesser performances in the singles event. She said, “[The press was] in Ekaterinburg with my relatives, in Moscow with me … I wish I could complain to someone about them.”
Lipnitskaya’s performances for the team event were flawless and she helped Russia win a team gold.
But the following week in the singles competition Lipnitskaya fell in both her long and short program and failed to medal.
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