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07 March 2019 | in Figure Skating

Football and figure skating collide to the crowd’s delight


The home crowd chanted ‘RUSSIA’, ‘RUSSIA’ as local hero Maxim Kovtun soared into the gold-medal position. The Russian dominance of figure skating was set to continue for another night and the fans were eating it up like Thanksgiving lunch.


Cue the magical voice of late Queen singer Freddy Mercury and one Matteo Rizzo.


A collective gasp of awe was heard around the Platinum Arena as Rizzo delivered a simply breathtaking routine. Flawless. Spectators could be seen turning to one another and mouthing ‘Wow!’ as the young Italian delivered a performance truly worthy of the top of the podium.


Rizzo fist pumped the air as he exited the ring, before jumping mid-air, spinning 180 degrees and delivering a stirring ‘Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!’

To those who follow football (soccer), this is the trademark celebration of Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo.


When asked about his post-skate reaction, the newly-minted Universiade champion said he’s been doing various celebrations for a few years and that he only does it following a clean program.


“Today was time for Cristiano Ronaldo,” said Rizzo. “I skated really good, in my opinion, and it’s always nice to do something like this, because in figure skating no one else does it.”


And no, Rizzo was quick to ensure everyone knew he wasn’t a Juventus fan, but rather an AC Milan supporter.


A man of the people, he added “It’s just something new that I would like to bring to figure skating.


“The fans are always clapping when I do this.”


Rizzo’s attention now turns to the world championships set to start in two weeks in Japan, where he’ll be hoping to replicate his performance from the Universiade. And who knows, maybe we’ll see another footballer’s celebration. My guess (biased Australian opinion) is Tim Cahill’s boxing.


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