Figure skating: Lipinski knows it's tough to win at 15

Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:09am EST
 
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By Pritha Sarkar

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Julia Lipnitskaya has already shown the world what her pint-sized, 15-year-old frame is capable of doing. The figure skater has already proved that she can keep her cool when everyone else is losing theirs.

But the question on everyone's lips is can the Russian do it again at the Sochi Games?

Tara Lipinski, more than anyone else, can relate to the thought process that goes into creating a 15-year-old Olympic champion - and she for one cannot wait to see how the new 'wonder-baby' measures up against the sport's established order.

"A lot of people think that winning is easier at that young age but on the flip side she doesn't have the experience the older skaters have to fall back on," 1998 Nagano gold medalist Lipinski, who won the big prize aged 15, told Reuters.

"That is what skating is, you go out there and you use all those moments to fall back on, and she is fairly new so it is even harder for her," the American added.

"Hers is just such a meteoric rise that it is incredible to watch but it is definitely going to be a challenging task for her to be able to stay calm under pressure in such a big event and in her home country no less."

The words 'fear' and 'nerves' seem to have no place in Lipnitskaya's vocabulary.

She is so at ease on the ice that she lifts off into soaring triple-triple jumps without much build-up or warning.   Continued...

 
Yulia Lipnitskaya of Russia finishes her figure skating team ladies' free skating at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, February 9, 2014. REUTERS/Brian Snyder