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Russian Firebird conquered Asian hearts: how figure skater Anna Shcherbakova gained fame in China before the 2022 Olympics


We recall the history of the first trip of figure skater Anna Shcherbakova to China for the Grand Prix series tournament

Anna Shcherbakova will still take to the ice of Beijing 2022. Photo: GLOBAL LOOK PRESS 

If in Japan the two most popular figure skaters of the Russian national team for many years are Alina Zagitova and Evgenia Medvedeva, then another figure skater of the Eteri Tutberidze's group has her own huge layer of fans in China. Anna Shcherbakova arrived in the autumn of 2019 at the Grand Prix stage in the Chinese city of Chunqin. And made a splash! We recall the story of Anna Shcherbakova's conquest of the Chinese public.

From November 8 to 10, 2019, the stage of the Chinese Grand Prix in figure skating took place. This tournament was the last, at the moment, which was accepted by the country. In 2020 and 2021, the competitions were not held due to the coronavirus pandemic. But the last tournament that the country accepted became a landmark for one of the Russian figure skating prima - Anna Shcherbakova.


Anna Shcherbakova Shcherbakova missed the Chinese public. Photo: GLOBAL LOOK PRESS

The Grand Prix stage in China was the second adult start in the career of figure skater Anna Shcherbakova. Therefore, she went to the tournament with little excitement - Elizaveta Tuktamysheva herself was among the rivals.

But Anya also had something to answer to the formidable “Empress” - Shcherbakova had two quadruple lutz in her application for her axel. Even by today's standards, it is an extremely powerful application in the program. And Anna skated the short program of the Chinese Grand Prix with a personal, at that time, record - 73.51 points.

- In past competitions, she was given little. If you do, then please get it. Now she's getting it. And then almost 67 set. There are no forces. We also understand a little what's what, - Tatyana Tarasova said on the air of Channel One, evaluating Anya's rental.


Anna Shcherbakova Shcherbakova won the 2019 Chinese Grand Prix and won the hearts of the local public. Photo: GLOBAL LOOK PRESS

However, even then, after the first rental, Shcherbakova said that she did not even suspect that Chinese fans could support her like that:

- When it was just announced that I would go to China, a lot of local fans wrote to me that they were waiting for me, I was so surprised, I didn’t think that they knew me here. This is very nice, as well as the fact that a lot of people came today and threw away so many toys, a lot of bears. I was very surprised when they threw a plush avocado - I gave the exact same one to my sister for her birthday two days ago, I don’t even know who and where could find out about it, - said Shcherbakovain an interview with TASS.

Free rental came out well - 152.53 points and 226.04 in total. She was under-rotated on a quadruple lutz in a combination with a triple sheepskin coat. But then there was a pure single quadruple lutz. The result - the first place with a margin of 15 points.


Anna Shcherbakova at the 2019 Chinese Grand Prix. Photo: REUTERS

But again, Anya, who performed with the rental of her very program “Firebird”,dressing roomin the course of the performance, fell in love with the fans in China. And after the second rental, Anya was simply hit by a hail of toys. The main one was a huge bear. Not just huge, but VERY big. Growth is about one and a half of Anna Shcherbakova. The athlete was pleased with the attention of local fans:

- In general, I'm satisfied, the rental was pretty good, working. it only says that we need to work, we will correct it so that next time there will be no errors. It's very nice to have support. It was a relief when the rental ended, it was not easy for me, I was quite nervous in front of him, so I was glad that it ended, and not bad. In the finale, when I bowed, so many toys flew, screams from the stands, it's very nice, -quotes Shcherbakova TASS.


Anna Shcherbakova

Anna is one of the candidates to win the 2022 Olympics. Photo: GLOBAL LOOK PRESS

A little later, on her personal Instagram, she wrote kind words for the public from China:

I really want to thank my wonderful fans! Thank you for the incredible emotions that you gave me at these competitions! I am extremely pleased to feel your support, hospitality and faith in me! PS The bear was successfully delivered home, we did it.

When in the fall of 2021 it became known about the cancellation of the Grand Prix in China, Shcherbakova said that she was sad about this fact. After all, her fans are waiting for her there, who wrote to her:


Anna Shcherbakova, Elizaveta Tuktamysheva after the Chinese Grand Prix 2019. Photo: REUTERS

“I wanted to go to China, of course. Let's start with the fact that it was there that I had my first bear fall, the so-called - for the first time after the performance, all the ice was strewn with these bears. There were very warm impressions. Until now, after that stage, Chinese fans send parcels all the time, they write how they are waiting for me. It is very nice to feel such support from them. I know that they often contact my fan group. I really wanted to return, - admitted Anna Shcherbakovain an interview with Channel One.

In February 2022, Shcherbakova's dream came true - she returned to China. To show himself in all its glory at the Olympic Games in Beijing.

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