Russian figure skating star Balieva becomes ‘figure queen’

Balieva (left) and Hanyu Yuzuru

The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, which will start on the 4th of next month, are 5 days and 30 days left. The event will be held for 17 days until February 20, with a total of 109 gold medals in 7 events including skiing, ice skating, bobsled, curling, ice hockey, luge, and biathlon in Beijing, Enqing and Zhangjiakou, etc.

As the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19) is still raging and the United States and Britain have declared a ‘diplomatic boycott’ on human rights issues in China, the enthusiasm has not risen as expected by the Chinese authorities, but the players who have waited for 4 years Passion is hot.

In particular, the eyes of the world are focused on the performances of the top stars who will shine in Beijing. It is unfortunate that the players of the North American Hockey League (NHL) have announced that they will not participate in the most popular ice hockey event, but it is because great stars who will make a new history in winter sports are flocking to Beijing.

Male and female figure skating singles get the most attention. First of all, it is interesting to see whether Camila Balieva (16, Russia), a ‘record maker’, who is a strong gold medal candidate for women’s singles, will become a new ‘Queen’ by breaking her own world record. Balieva set a world record in every international competition she competed in the quadruple (4 rounds) jump, which is difficult even for male athletes. He recently won the Russian national team selection match with an unofficial world record of 283.48 points. Experts are paying more attention to the points he gets at the Beijing Olympics than for Baliyeva’s gold medal. I wonder if he will break his official world record (87.42 points in the short program, 185.29 points in the free skating, 272.71 points in total) set at the 6th ISU Senior Grand Prix last month.

A great deal of attention is also focused on whether the male single’s ‘Ice Prince’ Yuzuru Hanyu (28, Japan) achieves three consecutive Olympic victories. Hanyu, who won gold medals at both the 2014 Sochi Games and the 2018 Pyeongchang Games, won the gold medal with overwhelming skills, such as challenging the quadruple axel jump, which circles four and a half laps, which is considered an impossible state at the recent Japanese championships in the aftermath of an ankle injury. showed off his stamina. While fierce competition with rival ‘jump machine’ Nathan Chen (22, USA) is expected, I wonder if Hanyu will complete the quadruple axel in Beijing, where not one person in the history of figure skating has succeeded in actual combat.

Sean White (from left), Michaela Shifrin, and Chloe Kim. EPA/AP Yonhap News, Provided Sema Sports Marketing

Whether the ‘snowboard emperor’ Sean White (36, USA) and ‘ski empress’ Michaela Shifrin (27, USA) are in good health can also be confirmed in Beijing. White will challenge for the fourth halfpipe gold medal, following Turin in 2006, Vancouver in 2010, and Pyeongchang in 2018.

Siprin, who holds the record for the most wins at the International Ski Federation (FIS) Alpine World Cup (72 wins) among active athletes, is challenging for three consecutive gold medals this time by winning gold medals in the 2014 Sochi Tournament and the 2018 Pyeongchang Games. He recently tested positive for COVID-19, but has recovered fully and is scheduled to return to the World Cup held in Zagreb, Croatia on the 5th.

Chloe Kim (22), a Korean-American who broke the record for the youngest gold medal in the women’s snowboarding halfpipe at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games at the age of 17 years and 9 months, is also trying to win the Olympics for the second time in a row. After Pyeongchang, he went to Princeton University and temporarily stopped playing, but returned to the snowy field last year.

In addition, Iraine Bust (36, the Netherlands), who is considered a “living legend” of speed skating by winning a total of 11 medals in four Olympic Games from 2006 Turin to 2018 Pyeongchang, also challenged the record of winning five medals for the first time in Olympic history. year to attract attention Bust is expected to compete in the women’s 1000m and 1500m and team pursuit.

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