In spite of Kamila Valieva’s shocking showing in fourth place, the women’s figure skating event will continue with a medal ceremony for the winners.
Prior to the medal presentation event, Olympians Alexandra Trusova, Anna Shcherbakova, and Kaori Sakamoto were honoured with panda mascot replicas from the Beijing Games.
Women’s Figure Skating Medal Ceremony Video
There will be a medal ceremony for the women’s singles figure skating medal winners, whose status was in doubt going into the free skate because of leader Kamila Valieva.
But the controversial Valieva had an uncharacteristically bad skate on Thursday morning (Eastern), sliding and falling several times. Despite a first-place finish in the short programme, her free skate score kept her from the medal stand.
Anna Shcherbakova, also a member of the Russian Olympic Committee, took first place with a score of 255.95, beating out Valieva by a small margin.
Kaori Sakamoto won the bronze medal while Alexandra Trusova of the ROC came in second place with a score of 251.73. Three American skaters placed seventh, tenth, and sixteenth, respectively.
After the skate, the winning skaters were honoured with miniature copies of the Beijing Olympics’ panda mascot and a spot on the podium. A formal ceremony to hand out medals is planned for the near future.
Prior to the competition, the IOC stated that a medal ceremony for Valieva would not be “acceptable” in light of the doping controversy surrounding her.
The International Olympic Committee has announced that they would not hold a flower ceremony or medal ceremony at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 if Evgenia Valieva places in the top three of the Women’s Single Skating category.
During these Games, it was announced that Valieva tested positive for the banned cardiac medicine Trimetazidine in December, resulting in a failed drug test. Her sample also included two other heart drugs, neither of which were restricted.
Earlier this week, the Court of Arbitration for Sport determined that Valieva would not be suspended and could participate in the short programme.
Reportedly, Valieva’s attorney stated that the athlete’s grandfather, who takes Trimetazidine, was responsible for the prohibited substance’s inadvertent introduction into Valieva’s system.
Former Olympic figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi is just one of many athletes who have spoken out against the decision to allow Valieva to compete.
To paraphrase what Yamaguchi said to Today, “it’s just a little disheartening because there is so much uncertainty in the air and even if one of them didn’t make the podium, there won’t be a medal ceremony so just, you know, heartbreaking to see so many Olympic moments for other athletes being taken away.”