The Winter Olympics had a few controversies this year, but new world records were broken!
By Rebekah Karp, Staff Writer and Artist
What comes and goes every four years? Leap Year. And also the Winter Olympics, which do not correlate in any way (trust me, I checked). This year was the first Olympics I have watched religiously, and it may or may not have been because my roommates had a two-week long obsession with ice skating. But I am glad because this year was one of the most eventful in figure skating history.
Nathan Chen, who was a USA fan favorite from his first games in 2018 where he took home gold for his figure skating routine to “Rocket Man” by Elton John. He set a new record for his scoring, gaining 113.97 points and was the first figure skater to successfully complete five different quad jumps in a competition. After all the hubbub of victorious gold for the U S of A, then came a new hubbub about another gold win. 15 year old Kamila Valieva of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) tested positive for doping after helping her team win gold. She was still allowed to compete after her positive test, but she went on to place fourth and was suspended, making her scores invalid.
There have been doping problems in the past—it is unfortunately not a new problem within the professional athletic field. But this particular controversy was on who to blame. A 15 year old skater, or her seasoned coach, Eteri Tutberidze, who has also been caught up in problems like this before. There is no right or wrong finger to point in this situation, and Ms. Valieva stands with her coach, but it is a saddening fact that any young athlete could be caught up in a controversy like this one.
In lighter news though, three new world records were set in ice skating as a whole. Nathan Chen and his men’s individual high score, plus Sui Wenjing and Han Cong of China had the highest score in pairs, which all accumulated to 82.93 points. And for a high score in ice dancing, the French pair Frances Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron gained 90.83 points, all setting new records for the ice skating community.