A choreographer who works with the group led by Olympic figure skating champion Anna Shcherbakova’s legendary trainer, Eteri Tutberidze, has fueled talk of the Russian Olympic Committee sensation retiring and said her entourage would accept her potential exit from the sport.
Two days after she turned 18, Shcherbakova’s sporting future on the international stage remains shrouded in uncertainty while Russian athletes are barred from International Skating Union events as a consequence of the start of the attack on Ukraine.
Speaking after she missed the World Championships but led her team to victory in the Russian Channel One Cup exhibition event at the weekend, Shcherbakova said she would “look at the situation” nearer the start of the new figure skating season in July.
Choreographer Alexei Zheleznyakov said there was a risk that athletes will feel demotivated to pursue their sporting careers while they are exiled from international competition.
“What are the prospects for a future career?” asked Zheleznyakov, who choreographed programs for former two-time world champion Evgenia Medvedeva, speaking to Metaratings via Championat.
“The prospects for all girls, without exception, are vague and blurry.
“Nobody knows when now we will be able to start at international competitions… everything is very difficult now.
“Any scenario is possible. Anna is the same person as everyone else – she builds and has her own plans for life.
“If she decides to end her sports career, then I think everyone will accept this choice.”
Coaching icon Tatiana Tarasova has said that any decision will be reached between Shcherbakova and Tutberidze.
In a statement five days after the attack began, the ISU announced that Russians and Belarusians would not be invited to events until further notice.
Shcherbakova suggested after the Channel One Cup that her decision would be influenced by whether the ban is lifted.
Zheleznyakov wants Shcherbakova to skate on. “I hope we work more,” he said. “Anna has achieved everything… she has an excellent career, and all this was achieved by great work and going through incredible difficulties.”