Sofia Biryukova – Talented, strong, competitive but unseen
By Vladislav Luchianov
One of the most talented and artistic figure skaters of Russia Sofia Biryukova still remains practically unseen to the international audience.
Sofia Biryukova began past season by winning gold at the 2011 Finlandia Trophy. After that, she placed 4th at the 2011/2012 Grand Prix stage Cup of Russia, setting personal best scores in both programs. At the last year’s Russian national championships she finished at 9th place. Sofia is also a medalist of several domestic competitions.
Unfortunately, in the coming season, Sofia Biryukova was assigned to just one ISU Grand Prix event, the 2012 NHK Trophy, which will be held in Sendai, Japan from November 23–25, 2012. In addition, the big surprise is the fact that Figure Skating Federation of Russia didn’t assign Sofia to other international competitions of the coming season, such as Nebelhorn Trophy, Finlandia Trophy and others, despite the fact that she is a member of the Russian national team.
This situation repeats every year and that allows us to make a conclusion about biased relation to this athlete.
In early September, the new season in the Russian figure skating was officially opened by the test skating performances. Sofia introduced her new short program to the music of James Horner from the movie The Mask of Zorro. Her free skating program remains the same – to the music of Giacomo Puccini’s opera “Turandot”.
According to many experts, the Spanish theme of the short program is very well suited to Sofia and she copes well with its interpretation. By the way, “copes” is not a quite accurate definition. Sofia Biryukova practically always lives the images of her programs. And the set of technical elements emphasizes an expressed image. Jumping elements (including a cascade of triple toe – triple toe), step sequences, spins, spirals – all made in such way that corresponds to each note of the executing program.
Unfortunately, not everything turned out well in test skating. In the second half of last season the injury prevented Sofia from full and complete trainings and, as a result, it made the impact on the preparation for a new season. Therefore we should not estimate her full readiness only by the results of test skating performances. This is just a beginning of a new season, where skaters not only present their new programs but also make further plans of improving.
Presently, Sofia is successfully making up for the missed due to injury time and is preparing intensively for the new starts. Given the nature of Sofia Biryukova, her desire to skate and the sincere love for figure skating, it’s safe to say that in the new season her fans will be able to completely enjoy and admire her performances.
Sofia Biryukova – new SP, The Mask of Zorro