19 Russian skaters are going to change sports citizenship – is this a collapse for our team or is it not so scary?

What many feared so much happened. Russian figure skating has been covered by an epidemic of transitions. According to the FFKKR, 19 skaters are in the process of changing sports citizenship. Moreover, most of the requests were granted by the officials.

What will happen now: is our team really going to collapse? Or is it really not that scary? We understand our material.

Transitions in Russian figure skating have always been

Transitions in Russian figure skating are certainly not a curiosity. They have always been there since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Moreover, not only unpromising athletes left, unable to succeed, speaking for their homeland, but also masters of their craft. Marina Anisina became an Olympic champion under the French flag, Pyotr Chernyshev won the Four Continents Championship twice for the United States, Maxim Stavisky became a two-time world champion playing for Bulgaria, and Margarita Drobyazko glorified Lithuania. In those years, citizenship was changed mainly by representatives of paired species – it was not always possible to find a partner of a comparable level in their homeland.

However, over time, officials began to release Russian skaters to other countries more selectively in order to avoid situations, such as, for example, at the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002, when Marina Anisina, already a French citizen, took gold in a duet with Gwendal Peizerat Russian couple Irina Lobacheva / Ilya Averbukh. Since then, the transfers of our skaters to other teams have become less painful: if someone left, then he did not pose a big threat.

Marina Anisina and Gwendal Peizerat

Photo: Tim De Waele/Getty Images

The outflow of figure skaters from our country has always been huge: the competition in the Russian national team is very serious, and not everyone can withstand it. All those who changed citizenship cannot be remembered by name. And it hardly makes sense, because few of them shone. Take, for example, the last Olympics: 14 figure skaters from Russia competed for other countries at once. But none of them came close to fighting for medals: the highest position among the former Russians was taken by the Georgians Karina Safina and Luka Berulava in the sports couples competition – ninth.




Where he was born, he did not come in handy there. 14 figure skaters from Russia compete at the Olympics for other countries

The change of citizenship by our skaters did not lead to any catastrophic consequences, although many sounded the alarm when the athletes began to actively switch during the transfer window. Our federation also had doubts, not in vain, because it complicated the transition process in 2020. For athletes who played for the national team, officials extended the quarantine from one year to two years; and for athletes who have never been in the national team, but performed at the championship or championship of Russia, they provided for quarantine for a period of one year.

But globally, this did not change anything: the skaters both moved and continued to move. But, of course, not the top ones, but the second or third tier.

Maria Talalaikina

Maria Talalaikina

Photo: Dmitry Golubovich, Championship

Is a transition epidemic coming? 19 skaters are going to change citizenship

Justified fears that Russian skaters would massively begin to change citizenship arose after March 1 – it was on this day that the ISU removed them from international competitions. At the summer convention, the organization upheld the suspension, and it became clear that the ban could drag on for a long time. But there was no news about the change of citizenship of this or that skater (except for rumors about the transition of Diana Davis and Gleb Smolkin to the US team). The first news about real transfers began to come towards the end of the summer: juniors Alexa Volkova, Inga Gurgenidze, Uliana Shiryaeva and Maria Dmitrieva moved to other teams. But it is worth noting that none of the girls, even within the country, aimed at high places.

The epidemic of transitions that many expected did not happen. Or is it for now?



Promising skaters are actively changing their passports. Is our junior skating in crisis?
Promising skaters are actively changing their passports. Is our junior skating in crisis?

According to the FFKKR, there were much more requests to change sports citizenship than we know – 19.

“Two-thirds of the requests received were submitted on time, we satisfied them. We will consider seven more at the December executive committee. We cannot disclose the names, since for this, athletes must give special consent to the processing of personal data, ”said the representative of the FFKKR TASS.

Is it worth worrying?

That is, our losses after the suspension will definitely not be limited to four juniors. Is this worth worrying about? Unlikely. We do not know the names of most of those who are going to change their country in the near future, but it is unlikely that there is someone truly valuable for our team among them. There are definitely no medalists of prestigious tournaments in this list.

“Top-level skaters who were participants in the Olympic Games, winners or prize-winners of the world or European championships are currently not among those who have applied for transfers,” the FFKKR told TASS.

Alexandra Trusova, Kamila Valieva, Anna Shcherbakova

Alexandra Trusova, Kamila Valieva, Anna Shcherbakova

Photo: Alexander Safonov, “Championship”

The number 19 only at first glance seems large and frightening. In fact, there are a huge number of skaters in Russia whose names we have not even heard of and whose transitions we have no idea. Alexander Kogan (general director of the FFKKR) in an interview with TASS named the skaters who recently returned Russian citizenship – these are Anastasia Kobzareva, Andrey Kakaraza, Alexander Lyubimov and Arina Panfilova. It is significant that the general public did not know about their departure from the Russian team, these athletes are simply unknown. So it’s definitely not worth raising a panic due to the fact that someone can go to the national teams of other countries. Moreover, according to Tatyana Tarasova, this option is really considered only by those whom the fans do not even know about.

“It has nothing to do with the fact that we are suspended from the competition. It’s always been that way, every year. You have not even heard these names, ”Tatyana Anatolyevna told the Championship.

The article is in Russian

Tags: Russian skaters change sports citizenship collapse team scary

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