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'My Heart Breaks’: Russian Olympic Figure Skating Champion Adelina Sotnikova Confirms Retirement

Sochi Olympic figure skating champion Adelina Sotnikova has confirmed that she retired from professional sport.

Appearing live on Rossiya-1 television channel on Monday, Sotnikova said:

“Officially, I want to say one thing — I’m done with professional sport, that’s for sure, because at the moment I want to be healthy, happy.”

​Sotnikova added:

“It’s sad and difficult for me to say this. I will continue to make my fans happy, but it will no longer be on a professional level… When I watch competitions, my heart breaks… but, unfortunately, my health doesn’t allow me to continue.”

Just two days earlier, Adelina Sotnikova made an Instagram post where she dropped a hint for fans to watch an upcoming show featuring her, scheduled for Monday, 2 March.

Last week the figure skater was discharged from hospital after undergoing surgery, during which she had six titanium screws implanted into her spine. The athlete is facing a lengthy period of rehabilitation.

Sotnikova studied at the Moscow CSKA School from 2004 to 2017 under the guidance of coach Elena Buyanova, debuting in 2007-2008 at the Russian Junior Championship where she was placed 10th, only to win the tournament the following year.

In 2014 Sotnikova, then 17, became Russia’s first Olympic women’s singles champion, upsetting defending champion Yuna Kim of South Korea.

© Sputnik / Michael Klimentyev
Vladimir Putin takes part in foundation of Alley of Winners at Sochi Olympic Park

She was the first female singles skater to take Olympic gold without any prior individual Olympic or world championships medals, in a feat that was subsequently matched by countrywoman Alina Zagitova in 2018.

© RIA Novosti . Vladimir Pesnia
Elena Ilinykh and Adelina Sotnikova at the closing ceremony of the Sochi Olympics

After Sochi, Sotnikova skated just once on the international Grand Prix circuit, reaching sixth place at the December 2015 Russian Championships.

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