There are many reasons to watch sport. Sometimes it is to see a tense contest between closely-matched opponents, sometimes to see an impressive display of power and speed, and other times it is because you find the unique characteristics of a sport entertaining.
But sometimes the reason to tune in to sport is to see something beautiful. And that is exactly what Evgenia Medvedeva produced as she set a new World Record of 81.06 with a stunning routine during the Ladies Single Skating Short Program in the Team Event.
The 18-year-old’s performance secured a place in the final stages of the Team Event for the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR). It was also the perfect way for Medvedeva to show her rivals she is here to win everything at Pyeonchang 2018, and her top priority will be adding individual Olympic gold to the World Championship titles she won in 2016 and 2017.
Medvedeva’s amazing display also laid to rest any doubts about whether she would be ready to compete after cracking a metatarsal bone in her right foot in November. The injury ruled the Russian out of the Figure Skating Grand Prix Final and her country’s national championships in December.
The two-time World Champion was also worried that the International Olympic Committee would not allow any Russian athletes to take part in the Winter Olympics, so she took it upon herself to address an IOC meeting in December. Medvedeva argued strongly that it was unfair to punish clean competitors for the sins of their cheating competitors who operated under a state-sponsored doping programme at Sochi 2014. The IOC agreed, and the figure skating star and her clean compatriots were permitted to compete at Pyeongchang 2018 as Olympic Athletes of Russia.
Thankfully, that means we can all enjoy her incredibly graceful skating on the biggest stage in sport. As Medvedeva told Eurosport, ‘I competed to feel the magic of the Olympics.’ It is an apt word to use, as her display was definitely spellbinding.