Ukrainian figure Skating Retirement Crisis at 16 Years Old | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Ukrainian figure Skating Retirement Crisis at 16 Years Old

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Shabotova has a bright future ahead of her. Will she be forced to retire? (Photo: World Junior Championships in March 2020 (Image: Jiji Press))The fate of a promising girl is becoming gradually uncertain.

Anastasiia Shabotova, 16, was the only Ukrainian representative in the women’s single figure skating event at the Beijing Olympics held this past February.


She is a rising star who won the Ukrainian championships in 19 and 21. She was born in Moscow, the capital of Russia, and started figure skating at the age of three.

She was the first to rebuke Russian ace Kamila Valieva immediately after her performance at the Beijing Olympics, saying, “Why did you give up fighting? On January 19th, she revealed on her Instagram that doping is routinely used at the training school (where Tutvelyse teaches) in order to achieve consistent results. The Russian sports media picked up on the story, and it caused a big commotion. 

Did the turmoil make it difficult for Shabotova to stay in Russia? In May 2019, Shabotova became a naturalized citizen of Ukraine, her mother’s country, and changed her nationality. As mentioned above, she represented her country at the Beijing Olympics. She was expected to do well in the future.

A painful response to the “Czar’s” post

Shabotova’s performance at the Beijing Olympics

However, …….

In February of this year, when the Russian army invaded Ukraine, Shabotova was also at the mercy of the times. Her fate was determined by Evgeni Plushenko, who won 17 gold medals at international competitions, including the 2006 Turin Olympics, and is known as the Czar of Russia. He is also known as an ardent supporter of President Vladimir Putin.

After the invasion of Ukraine, Plushenko posted on social networking sites that “Russia’s action is a legitimate and inevitable military operation. Shabotova, a Ukrainian citizen, had the audacity  to “like” the post.  In Ukraine, expressing support for Russia is taboo. She was disqualified and disappeared.


Plushenko felt responsible and announced his acceptance to Russia. But at the same time, he also revealed that he had lost touch with Shabotova. The Russian media outlet “Sports 24” reported, “Shabotova has lost contact with Ukraine.”

Shabotova cannot return to Ukraine. But it will be difficult for her to qualify for the Russian national team. It is also difficult to acquire the nationality of a third country. At 16 years old, it is very likely that she will retire.

In April, Shabotova’s future was revealed when Gutzeit, Ukraine’s Minister of Youth and Sports, told several media outlets, “Shabotova will be playing at the Beijing Olympics, and I think she will be a very good candidate.”

“Shabotova represented Ukraine at the Beijing Olympics, but decided to move to Russia after the invasion began. So we excluded her from the team.”

Shabotova’s life is likely to continue to swing between just because she moved to Russia does not mean she can immediately resume competing. Once in the “enemy” country of Ukraine, it would have been a considerable hurdle for her to qualify for the national team. Russia and Ukraine.

Shabotova’s performance at the Beijing Olympics
  • Photo Jiji Press

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