World Figure Skating Championships hero Elizaveta Tuktamysheva has dedicated her silver medal to “all women in figure skating”, admitting that she “can’t believe everything” after Russia claimed every podium spot in Stockholm.
Teenage sensations Anna Shcherbakova and Alexandra Trusova took gold and bronze on a spectacular night for Russian skating on Friday, although much of the attention was focused on Tuktamysheva, who returned to the tournament for the first time since scooping gold in 2015.
A comparatively ancient competitor at the age of 24, Tuktamysheva showed she had lost none of her class as she sent her vast fanbase into raptures by finishing second before shedding tears on the podium.
“I still can’t believe everything is like a dream – in a good dream,” she told her Instagram following of more than 245,000, accompanying her message with a photo of herself on the ice carrying her medal and bouquet.
I’m still can’t believe it. Dreams come true! ❤️ thank you All, for believing in me🌟 pic.twitter.com/pbIIn2455U
— Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (@TuktikLiza) March 27, 2021
“I want to dedicate this victory to all women in figure skating. We can do everything.
“Never give up, go your own way to come at the right time to the right place. Women power.”
Known as the ‘Empress’ by her fans, Tuktamysheva shared some of the many messsages she received in the immediate aftermath of her glory, including photos from her first steps into the sport.
Tuktamysheva added on Twitter: “I’m still can’t believe it. Dreams come true. Thank you all for believing in me.”
Adding that he “loved her so much”, former US champion Adam Rippon told Tuktamysheva that she had inspired “all of us”, while Shcherbakova told her fans that there were “no words – only emotions” as she looked back on photos of her gasping with joy when she heard the results.
You inspire ALL of us. LOVE YOU SO MUCH. 😭😭🥰🥰❤️❤️
— Adam Rippon (@AdamRippon) March 27, 2021
“In general, few people doubted [Shcherbakova],” three-time Olympic champion Irina Rodnina told Championat.
“It is evident that it has not been easy for her: she sometimes competed even after illnesses… but she had enough strength, courage and skill.
“I liked the confidence and how courageously Liza Tuktamysheva carries everything. After all, she competes with very young girls, so such a long and loyal service and love for figure skating evokes an extremely positive emotion.
“And, of course, Sasha Trusova surprised. To make the podium from such a long way back… no other athlete has such a set of jumps.
“Despite the mistakes, she still continued to go forward – this commands great respect. Trusova’s path to the podium was one of the hardest.”
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