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15-year-old Yulia Lipnitskaya becomes Russia’s youngest Winter gold medalist

Yulia Lipnitskaya
Yulia Lipnitskaya
Pool / Getty Images Sport

The Russian figure skating team had already clinched gold in the brand new team figure skating event when 15-year-old Yulia Lipnitskaya took the ice to complete her team’s final free skate on Feb. 9, but the audience was no less floored by her impeccable performance set to music from “Schindler’s List”.

In fact, RT.com reports that Lipnitskaya was actually six days younger than U.S. figure skating legend Tara Lipinski was when she won her own gold in the Nagano games back in 1998.

Lipnitskaya’s performances in the short program and free skate portions of the skating team competition both wowed the audience at the Iceberg Skating Palace, and watching around the globe, and paved the way alongside veteran Evgeni Plushenko for the Russians to pull off a rout of the silver-winning Canadian team and bronze-winning U.S. team.

According to CBSNews.com, the Russians did not finish worse than third in any of the disciplines.

If 18-year-old U.S. phenom Gracie Gold laid down an impressive free skate in her debut performance shortly ahead of Lipnitskaya, (which she did, very impressive) than the latter’s can only be described as jaw-dropping.

It would seem that the judges agreed, as Lipnitskaya skated her way to the second best result ever in ladies free skating with an intimidating 141.51 points. Combined with her short program the team scored a whopping 214.41 points.

Gracie Gold has some very serious competition in the upcoming individual competitions. In fact, if Lipnitskaya, is able to improve on her free skate performance as she said she wanted to, according to RT.com--“For me, this skate was not the best. We will work on mistakes so that on the individual championship there are no flaws. It was annoying that I failed with the last rotation. And, yes, I could strengthen jumps. In the individual tournament, I set the highest goals.”-- the rest of the pack may well be competing for silver.