A U.S. coach says Russia’s ice princess isn’t ‘lady’ enough to become an Olympic champion.
Frank Carroll, who coaches U.S. champ Gracie Gold, is questioning how judges have been scoring 15-year-old Julia Lipnitskaia.
Lipnitskaia helped guide Russia to a gold medal in last week’s team event in Sochi.
“The judges are going to do what they want, but the little girl, you know, Julia (Lipnitskaia), she’s very, very good, extremely talented, I admire her skating, I think she’s wonderful. Is she a 10, a score of 10 in the program component scores? Or 9.5? I don’t think so,” Carroll told USA Today.
After knocking down his skater’s rival, he switched gears to prop up his pupil, who at 18 he refers to as a “woman.”
At issue is a score Lipniskaia was awarded at last month’s European championship. The young Russian was, according to Carroll, inexplicably given a 10 for the interpretation component.
“I think Gracie skates like a woman,” Carroll said. “I think she skates like a young lady, not like a youngster, not like a kid. She doesn’t skate like a kid. I think there’s a maturity to it.
“I think (Lipnitskaia) will mature with time and be fantastic but I don’t think that time is now,”
He added that although Lipnitskaia is fun to watch, he questions the validity of her as the ladies’ Olympic champion.
“When you look at it, is (Lipnitskaia) the ladies’ Olympic champion? I don’t know. Everybody has an opinion, I have an opinion, the judges have an opinion, and whoever is on that panel, their opinion is going to be the one that wins out.”
The ladies short program goes Wednesday night.
Lipnitskaia is among the favourites to win gold following Thursday’s free skate.