Kamila Valieva Just Made History with a Record-Breaking Quadruple Jump at the Olympics
The Russian gold medalist landed the jump not once but twice in competition.
Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva was already a favorite for the women's competition before the games even kicked off. But if there was any doubt left in your mind that the 15-year-old Olympian would secure her spot atop the podium, it's gone now. Valieva just made history as the first woman to land a quadruple jump at the Olympics.
The now-gold medalist—yep, Russia snagged first in the team event thanks to Valieva—landed not one but two quads in the team free skate competition Monday. She finished with a 178.92 score, a whopping 30 points ahead of Kaori Sakamoto's second-place performance.
"She is a triple threat—Technician, artist, and she is so mentally tough," Olympic gold medalist Tara Lipinski commented of Vaieva during NBC's broadcast, USA Today reports. Former Olympian Johnny Weir added, "If that performance didn't inspire the whole world to take up ice skating, I don't know what would."
The record-breaking performance helped the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) claim gold while the United States and Japan earned the silver and bronze medals, respectively.
"I do feel this burden a bit, this pressure, because this is my first season among adult skaters,'' Valieva told ESPN. "I believe that I'm coping with this pressure, and sometimes it even pushes me forward. It helps me.''
Clearly, it is propelling her forward. The teen medalist's next challenge will be replicating that success in the individual event later this month.