Medvedeva moves to Canadian coach Orser
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian figure skater Evgenia Medvedeva will switch to working with Canadian coach Brian Orser after she apparently fell out with her longtime coach.
The Olympic silver medalist confirmed the move Monday but said she’ll continue to compete for Russia, ending speculation at home that she was preparing to change nationality.
The 18-year-old Medvedeva had worked for 11 years with Russian coach Eteri Tutberidze. However, their relation seems to have soured three months after another Tutberidze pupil, Alina Zagitova, beat Medvedeva to Olympic gold.
Tutberidze told Russian TV on Sunday that Medvedeva stopped answering her calls and messages last month, and suggested the skater wanted the 15-year-old Zagitova held out of senior events, which would have meant she couldn’t compete at the Olympics.
“There was this really childish phrase: ‘Couldn’t you have kept Alina in the juniors for one more year?’” Tutberidze quoted Medvedeva, who is nicknamed Zhenya, as saying. “I said, ‘Zhenya, what?’ We have to give everyone the same chance. You have to in sport. We don’t have the right to hold a person back.”
Medvedeva thanked Tutberidze, who has a reputation as a taskmaster, in a statement, adding: “I learned many life lessons from her. I will remember it all my life.”
Of her switch to Orser, she said: “I hope that time will pass and everyone will understand that this was the only possible option.”
Since the Olympics, Medvedeva has launched a TV career as a presenter on a Russian show about child skaters, but has repeatedly said she’s targeting another Olympics in 2022.