Russian sports news publication Sports Daily came up with a fun idea to find out who is the most well-known figure skater by regular Russian residents – they went out onto the streets of St. Petersburg and surveyed random people.
Their first question was to determine if people know the current standings in the sport: “Who do you think are the current leaders in figure skating?”
Expecting to hear the names of medal winning skaters from the most recent national and international competitions – the names of Alexandra Trusova, Alena Kostornaia, and Anna Shcherbakova were answered by only about 1% of people. 2% of responders named Evgenia Medvedeva, some older residents replied that they only know skaters like Evgeny Plushenko, Alexei Yagudin, Tatiana Navka, etc.
Surprisingly, in a country where the sport is so popular and always in the news, 94% of people said they cannot name any of the current leaders in figure skating.
The second question was easier for the people to answer, as they were given names of ice skaters: “Do you know who Anna Shcherbakova, Alena Kostornaia, Alexandra Trusova, Evgenia Medvedeva, and Alina Zagitova are?”
Only a few people answered that they don’t recognize any of the names but the most recognizable athlete turned out to be Medvedeva. 31% of responders knew who the two-time World champion is. 22% of people knew Olympic gold medalist Zagitova, 16% – knew two-time World Junior champion Trusova, 13% – European champion Kostornaia, 9% – two-time Russian National champion Shcherbakova.
The journalists ended the survey with a question about the host of Channel One’s Ice Age: “Do you think Alina Zagitova should end her career?”
94% of people said she should continue skating, as she is still very young. This answer was common among all responders, regardless of age. Only a few people refused to answer this question, saying they don’t know anything about the sport.