The last time Evgenia Medvedeva performed at a competition with Eteri Tutberidze watching her by the boards was at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. That day, the 23rd of February 2018, Medvedeva was the favorite to win the gold medal but the score she received for her free skate performance was identical to the one her younger teammate Alina Zagitova received minutes earlier – 156.65 points.
Technically, Medvedeva finished ahead of Zagitova in the free skate due to a better program component score; however, none of that mattered as the then-15-year-old Zagitova had been leading the competition by a minor 1.31 points after the short program.
Arguably one of the best programs to not win an Olympic gold medal in ladies’ figure skating:
Medvedeva settled for the silver medal and since then she has seldomly looked like the same dominant two-time World champion, two-time European champion, two-time Russian National champion, two-time ISU Grand Prix Final champion, and former World Junior champion that every competitor feared.
Over the last two seasons, Zhenya still managed to bring out the fierce competitor from within every once in a while. Whenever people started doubting her, the Russian crowd’s favorite figure skater always came up big – managing to qualify for the 2019 World Championship and eventually medaling alongside two of Tutberidze’s skaters.
Many unexpected things have happened in 2020 and among them, on the 16th of September, Tutberidze announced to the world that Medvedeva is back on her ice. Back at Khrustalny. Perhaps – back at the training site that made her who she is – the now-20-year-old Medvedeva will psychologically feel the same as she did when she was untouchable for half of the last decade.
Medvedeva is scheduled to take part in the Russian stage of the ISU Grand Prix series in Moscow between November 20th and 22nd. Medvedeva might not be the main favorite now but she will surely be the favorite of the crowd.