Famed Russian figure skating coach Ludmila Velikova has suggested that reigning world and Olympic champion Alina Zagitova could soon retire if she can’t retain her previously held leading positions.

The skater put her competitive career on hold last year after finishing last at the ISU Grand Prix final and losing to younger opponents with more impressive technical content.

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Despite dismissing rumors about her possible retirement, the skater hasn’t yet confirmed her comeback to the international circuit.

We’ll see what will happen. But she should respect herself. If she realizes that she’s not ready to fight for podium places, she’ll definitely retire. Even if this happens, she won’t lose anything. She’s an amazing, well-bred girl,” Velikova said.

If she thinks she’s still able to compete against young opponents, I’ll be happy. The more Olympic contenders we have, the better.”

Velikova commented on the sensational string of departures in Eteri Tutberidze’s camp, adding that the coach still has talented skaters who will extend her winning traditions.

Don’t forget that Kamila Valieva is still training in Tutberidze’s group. Probably she will win the 2022 Olympics, leaving behind all other competitors.