Russian Figure Skater, 15, First Woman to Land Quad Jump at Olympics

Russian teenager Kamila Valieva made figure skating history Monday, becoming the first woman to land a quadruple jump in Olympic competition — and not content with one, she nailed two.

Her efforts helped the Russians win gold in the first figure skating medals awarded at the Beijing Games, as they beat the United States into second place in the team event.

The 15-year-old landed the quadruple jumps — when a skater rotates four times in the air — as she once again demolished the field in the women’s free section.

Despite finishing 30 points ahead of second-placed Kaori Sakamoto of Japan — they won bronze overall — Valieva looked distraught at the end of her performance, having fallen attempting a third quad jump.

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But she was beaming again as she stepped onto her first Olympic podium with her teammates.

Valieva said it was a “fantastic feeling” to have landed the first women’s Olympic quad.

“While I had this burden of responsibility, I came out a winner. I coped,” she said.

She recounted how she had been fascinated by the Olympics as a child.

“When I was three years old I would tell my mother, I want to be an Olympic champion, which I have become, thank god,” said Valieva. “I believe my next dream will come true too.”

She is part of a team trained by coach Eteri Tutberidze expected to dominate the podium in the women’s individual event in Beijing. Valieva is favourite for gold.

All three Russian skaters have comfortably landed quad jumps in competition before, but it had never been done at an Olympics.

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