Test runs of the Russian national team are getting closer, and Alina’s future is shrouded in mystery. Before Alina Zagitova returns to the ice, you can already open the countdown. Somewhere in the background, the group Europe is playing, and we cross out the days of the calendar and see that the Olympic champion will return in four days. But will he return? And for a long time, if so?
In recent days, against the background of the beginning of the filming of “Ice Age” (today the first issue is being filmed in Moscow), rumors have been circulating that the story with participation in the test runs may turn in the most unexpected direction. For example, withdrawal before starting. Or there will be some important announcement within the next two days. Arguments? The tape is on the skater’s leg – which means there is a risk of injury, the lack of any information about the programs and the lack of information about the form. In such conditions, one has to judge her only by photographs, and they leave a controversial feeling.
The day before, it was announced what the media reported a week ago – Zagitova became the co-host of “Ice Age”. The comment of the general director of the federation, Alexander Kogan, was expected, but still ambiguous: “With the question of a career, it is better to turn to Alina herself.” This is not even “the decision will be made after the skates” or “let’s hope Alina will get back in shape.” Perhaps we will find out something in the mixed zone after the skates, but in principle, the situation when the federation does not know about the plans of the skater of the Russian national team at the rate is not very correct.
“SE” analyzed several options for continuing Alina’s career and life path.
Option 1. Full return
Zagitova wakes up after filming “Ice Age” and feels a surge of strength. And he decides: yes, I must return. Including the Russian Cup. You can announce this after test rentals. You can even pick up the microphone again, like at the Grand Prix finals in Turin – so that everyone present cringes with anticipation. Nothing prevents to announce the return, the question is where to return. In what places and in what psychological state. After all, if Alina has no motivation, everything is useless, and if she does not twist triples, you can not get into the Russian championship. At the last championship, the top ten went for 190 points, while the outsiders were gaining around 170.
Option 2. Half Return
An option that leaves room for maneuver. You can return, but, for example, only to the Grand Prix. So the sponsors will be shown that the career continues, and there is no need to fight for anything – it is far from the fact that, in principle, the final will be held. And you can also choose to return to the “French Grand Prix”, where Alina has performed more than once. It’s really possible to win there. In the women’s singles, those same 190 points were scored by the first skater behind Kostornaya – Shcherbakova – Trusova, and not the tenth. But again, this is all relevant if Alina is really ready to return to the ice and perform full-fledged programs. If not, then …
Option 3. Not return, but treatment
If you call this method more cynical – a trauma for show. Any athlete at the age of 18 has sores, in fact, it is not even necessary to simulate. Suffice it to say, they say, I have an injury, do not blame me, but I want to heal. I’ll be back … by winter. Or maybe next season. There, as the Aesculapians will say. This can be announced both before and after the rental, and even during. Again, formally, Zagitova will continue her career and report on contracts, without having to perform and risk bad results. Everyone is happy. Except for the fans. And it’s not entirely clear how to make money on the show in such a situation. Skate without jumping?
Option 4. Non-standard continuation
The case with Zagitova is so complicated that it requires non-trivial solutions. “Ice Age” is one of them, and here the champion is honored and praised. But what if you continue your career in lightweight mode? For example, to take part in the tournament in honor of the 100th anniversary of Udmurtia, which is included in the calendar of all-Russian competitions this season. Remember the Tatarstan Cup. Or find sponsored starts in Japan. This is a kind of sportswoman who decides for herself which tournament she should go to. In this mode, you can perform for many more years and even make yourself a winning streak – it is unlikely that in Udmurtia many single skaters cleanly jump even a double lutz + rittberger.
Option 5. Change of citizenship
An even more fantastic, but time-wasting, option. Almost any country in the world will be happy to get Zagitova. This, however, absolutely does not fit with her current image with patriotic statements. But, if you correctly build the whole story, you can even regularly get to the world championships and the Olympics. True, any love story for any country will have to be built from scratch.
Option 6. Completion
And finally, the most obvious and honest option at the moment. If Alina does not apply for the Russian Cup, when everyone does it, if it is not known whether she jumps at all in training, then why not honestly say: “I’m tired, I’m leaving”? True, this will lead to questions from sponsors – but is money really important for Alina? The whole world is in front of her – journalism, politics, PR, Japanese restaurants. Of course, after losing the status of an acting skater, interest in her will drop. And perhaps that is why this option is even less likely than the previous two. This means that we have more than one month to live in this intrigue.