Julia Lipnitskaia – Julius Caesar of Junior Skating
By Vladislav Luchianov
In 2009 a little girl Julia got a serious dilemma – to continue to be engaged in favorite sport or to finish with it. The answer would seem obvious. Certainly, it is necessary to continue if she loves her sport. But it was not so easy. The situation developed such, that in native Ekaterinburg there weren’t conditions for further sporting growth and for serious trainings it was necessary to move to Moscow.
It is this decision had to make the 2012 World Junior Champion Julia Lipnitskaia and her mother. By the way, Julia’s mother must be included in the list of team members for the fact that she is not just observed a few years ago a daughter’s great potential and not just because of the fact that she consistently supported and continues to support Julia, but also for the fact that for the sake of Julia’s career growth she had to make a very serious and far from an easy decision to move to Moscow.
Moving to a metropolis like Moscow can’t be easy for a child of nine years old. It wasn’t easy for Julia too. But the advantage of this girl was in the paradoxical fact that she is not from Moscow. Those readers who are familiar with Russia know that there are some differences between Moscow and the rest of Russia. As a rule, visitors (newcomers) of Russia’s capital are stronger in ability to adaptation. In addition, Julia had a real and great passion – figure skating.
After moving she is completely immersed in the work on the ice. With the help of talented young coach Eteri Tutberidze, Julia every day for several hours worked hard on each element of her technique as well as on artistic components. In addition to her natural flexibility, the young skater also has the high sense of music. It is easy to see by watching her earlier performances.
Results were not long in coming. In the 2009/2010 season, she placed 5th at her debut on the junior level at the 2010 Russian Junior Championships. She was 4th on the senior level the following season at the 2011 Russian Championships. About Julia began talking seriously not only Russian, but also the international experts. But it was only the beginning.
Julia Lipnitskaia became age-eligible for Junior international events in the 2011/2012 season. She debuted on the Junior Grand Prix circuit at the JGP Baltic Cup in Gdansk, Poland, winning both programs to take the gold medal. She then won her second assignment in Milan, Italy, to qualify for the Junior Grand Prix Final, where she placed first in both segments to win the gold medal with a huge advantage in points. In her first Grand Prix series Julia took only one place in all competitions – the first one. Superbly owns the most difficult technique of the present ladies single skating, Julia did not leave any chance to the rivals.
At the 2012 Russian Nationals, Julia was third in the short program and first in the free skate and won the silver medal overall. She then competed and won the gold medal at the 2012 Russian Junior Championships. Then Julia went on to win the 2012 World Junior Championships in Minsk, Belarus with a new personal best score and was given a loud standing ovation by the crowd in the stadium.
With the personal record of 187.05 points, Julia holds the ladies’ World Junior record for the highest combined total and the free skate scores, having broken the combined score record twice in the 2011–2012 season. After the event, she commented on her performance and said: “I liked everything and the performance was ideal. Now I am in a great mood. It was a great ending for a great season”. She had no falls on the ice in all her competitions throughout the entire 2011/2012 season. In this season she took all possible titles of junior skating.
I do not like the word prodigy. Yes, of course Julia is very talented. But the presence of talent absolutely does not mean an automatic success. A development of any talent, even the youngest, requires tremendous efforts. This young girl with a fully adult serious approach to the sport, at every training works out element by element multiple times and with real big desire. Yes, many do the same. But not everyone do it with such tenacity. That’s why, in my opinion, when Julia is going to execute the next jump, step sequence or spin there is a confidence that she will accurately execute everything. But this is just one of many reasons of her success.
In an interview with me Julia said that in her programs she don’t have elements in the execution of which she is not sure. Given the fact that Julia has one of the most difficult set of elements, we just can imagine what it takes to achieve high stability of its execution.
One of the remarkable qualities of Julia is her ability to control the situation during any competition without thinking about the rivals. Also, there is no automatism in her movements on the ice. Each step on the ice is conscious. Executing one element she concentrates only on it. The ability to be “here and now” does not depend on the talent.
Such condition can come only after much practice and under the guidance of a very professional coach. And getting this from a very young skater it’s generally a very difficult task. In this issue appears another coaching talent of Eteri Tutberidze. Conscious control of the situation contributes to the appearance of a strong athlete’s confidence. In addition, under such mental conditions figure skater has additional opportunity to realize the artistic part of the program and Julia is repeatedly demonstrated it during this season.
Some fans of figure skating and media representatives mistakenly believe that Julia is not inclined to conversation. From my own experience I know that this is absolutely not true. On my deep belief, Julia very accurately distinguishes the sincere interest to her and her skating from simply stock phrases.
Completely conquered junior skating, Julia Lipnitskaia is in the list of entries of the next season’s senior Grand Prix stages (Cup of China and Trophee Eric Bompard). No doubt that the appearance of this very young but already very strong skater in senior skating will do good not only for this athlete, but even more for the whole ladies single skating. Sport only will benefit from this.
P.S. I hope that readers already realized that the title of this article is much more than just a wordplay.
Photo: Ksenia Fomina
2012 World Junior Championships – Julia Lipnitskaia, SP
2012 World Junior Championships – Julia Lipnitskaia, FS
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