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Yulia Lipnitskaya, The Skating Darling of Sochi, Retires After Completing Treatment For Anorexia

Kevin Lee/Getty Images
Kevin Lee/Getty Images

Back in 2014, Yulia Lipnitskaya burst onto the international skating scene by helping the Russians win team gold at the Olympics. In Sochi, Lipnitskaya memorably performed to the score from Schindler’s List, dressed like the little girl in red in the Steven Spielberg film about the Holocaust. (Three years later, her countrywoman, Evgenia Medvedeva would take on another tragedy—9/11—in her long program at the world championships.)

Though Lipnitskaya had a rough showing in the individual skating competition in Sochi and failed to medal there, many thought she had a bright future in women’s figure skating. And for a brief spell, it seemed like she did. Lipnitskaya followed up her Olympic performance with a silver medal at the world championships later that year. But that would be it for Lipnitskaya at the world and Olympic level. Her mother, Daniela Lipnitskaya, announced yesterday that Yulia is retiring from the sport after completing three months of treatment for anorexia in Europe.

According to RT, Daniela informed the Russian figure skating federation of her daughter’s retirement back in April, though the federation claims that it has yet to receive an official notice from Yulia.

Despite her solid results on the Grand Prix tour, Lipnitskaya didn’t skate well enough in subsequent years at Russian nationals to earn a spot onto the world championship team. She also struggled with injuries, most notably hip problems.


Russia has no shortage of up-and-coming young female skaters, so they didn’t actually need Lipnitskaya in peak form. In the years since Sochi, she was supplanted by the likes of Medvedeva and Elizaveta Tuktamysheva. These two women have won the world titles in ladies skating from 2015-2017.

Lipnitskaya has also been viciously criticized for her weight gain—aka going through puberty—since she competed in Sochi. She responded to rumors that she was pregnant on social media, writing:

“I am not pregnant, you are getting to me. Have a conscience. I can’t be 37kg all my life just to make everybody happy. I have been dieting enough already, (it’s) enough!”


Dvora Meyers is a staff writer at Deadspin.

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