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04 February 2017 | in Figure Skating, Winter Universiade

#WUAlmaty2017: Russia’s Elena Radionova wins Figure Skating Gold at her First Universiade



ALMATY — Less than a month after her eighteenth birthday, Russia’s Elena Radionova was in Almaty, Kazakhstan with a gold medal around her neck.


The athlete from the Russian State University for Physical Education, Sport, Youth and Tourism has been figure skating since she was four-years-old and her successes are proof of her hard work.


She is a two-time world junior champion, the 2015 world bronze medalist, the 2014 Grand Prix Final silver medalist, the 2015 Grand Prix Final bronze medalist, the 2015 European silver medalist, the 2012 Junior Grand Prix Final champion and the 2015 Russian champion.


“I am very pleased that my parents introduced me to figure skating because I can’t imagine my life without the sport,” she said. “It’s my whole life.”


The Moscow native ended in the top spot after the first short programme performance at the 2017 Winter Universiade with a score of 69.02 — just above Russian teammate Elizaveta Tuktamysheva who scored 69.01.


“I think I did my best. All the elements of skating were done perfectly,” she said. “But I think I can still do better.”


And just days later, Radionova continued in her completion during the free skating event.


Radionova didn’t let up; she finished with total score of 196.61 — almost 10 points higher than the runner-up.


The Russian student-athlete has trained all around the world including across the ocean in Canada and United States of America, but for most of the time she stays in her hometown of Moscow with her coach Inna Goncharenko.


Radionova is one of the most well-known figure skaters in Russia after recent successes in her career.


“I don’t consider myself a star,” she said. “I just figure skate.


Radionova will continue with her figure skating career after the Winter Universiade, now in her second season of the senior competitions.


“Sport has given me a lot,” she continued. “I just can’t imagine my life without it.”


Check out the video interview here.


Kelcey Wright Johnson, U-Media Reporter