Story By: Anastasia Smirnova, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
Stunning Russian Olympic gold medallist skater Adelina Sotnikova has announced her retirement saying she wants “to be healthy and happy” after news of her diminishing health surfaced.
Russian skater Sotnikova, 23, made the announcement during an interview with television programme ‘Sudba Cheloveka S Borisom Korchevnikovim’ (Person’s Destiny with Boris Korchevnikov) broadcast by Russian channel Russia-1.
The news of her retirement comes after reports of her diminishing health as her career has been plagued with injuries which have kept her from competing since the 2015/2016 season.
Sotnikova said: “I want to make an official statement: this is definitely it with professional sports because at this point in my life I want to be healthy and happy.”
Sotnikova underwent cervical spine surgery in February where doctors reportedly inserted six metal screws into her spine to hold it together.
When speaking about her back problems, Sotnikova said: “In December I realised that I couldn’t sit, to sleep I had to find a proper sleeping position because the area from my shoulder to my hand would get numb.
“I didn’t understand what was going on, I took pills but nothing would work.”
The skating champion thanked her family, friends and fans for their constant support no matter what adding the announcement wasn’t easy for her but promised not to disappear from the horizon.
She added: “I really miss the sport, every time I watch contests my heart breaks because I want to compete too but unfortunately, my health no longer allows me to.”
Sotnikova won the gold medal at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi at the age of 17 but has not comped since the 2016 Russian Championships where she finished sixth due to a string of injuries.
She is a four-time Russian national champion and a two-time silver medallist in the European Figure Skating Championships (2012 and 2013).
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