Two-time world champion figure skater Evgenia Medvedeva will part ways with Canadian specialist Brian Orser to return to her previous coach, Eteri Tutberidze, who she left two years ago.
According to RIA Novosti news agency, which cited sources familiar with the situation, Medvedeva has decided to resume her partnership with Tutberidze, who led her to two world titles and two Olympic silver medals.
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The 20-year-old has been trained by Orser over the past two seasons, but the Covid-19 crisis affected their partnership, as the skater couldn’t return to Canada due to international flight restrictions.
Orser and Medvedeva worked together via internet – however, their online training didn’t bring much progress, as the skater struggled during a test event in Moscow, admitting she wasn’t fully prepared for the upcoming season.
Her poor physical shape and closed borders with Canada apparently led to Medvedeva’s decision to return to her former coach, who had trained her for 11 years.
Medvedeva, widely considered a favorite to win Olympic gold in 2018, split with Tutberidze right after failing to take first place in South Korea, losing to her younger counterpart, Alina Zagitova.
Their highly publicized break-up triggered a wave of rumors in Russia and abroad, with pundits suggesting Medvedeva was hurt by her Olympic loss.
Back then, Tutberidze, who was shocked by Medvedeva’s sudden departure, fueled rumors about their unhealthy relationship, claiming that the skater asked her to hold back Zagitova at the junior level for one more year before the Olympics.
The skater denied it, stating on multiple occasions that she had finally found coaches in Canada who fully support her and with whom she became true friends.
However, friendship did not bring world titles – a 2019 world championship bronze was the only international award she won under Orser.
Last year, Medvedeva failed to take one of the three spots on the national team, losing to Tutberidze’s trio who represented Russia at international events.
After Alena Kostornaia and Alexandra Trusova left Tutberidze’s camp, and with Zagitova taking a break from competition, the coach can now fully concentrate on her bright stars, including Medvedeva.
Neither Tutberidze nor Medvedeva have confirmed the news yet, but the situation will be cleared up soon as the skater will compete this weekend at the first stage of the Cup of Russia in Syzran