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Olga Mikutina – She’s an outlaw on the ice

Olga Mikutina – She’s an outlaw on the ice
Olga Mikutina was eighth in the 2021 World Cup.
Image: APA/AFP/DANIEL MIHAILESCU

Better late than never: Olga Mikutina, Austria’s star figure skater, was already standing in front of the Bell Center in Montreal in 2020 before the World Championships were canceled due to the corona pandemic. Four years later, the time has come: The home of the traditional ice hockey club Montreal Canadiens, which has an impressive capacity of 21,105 visitors (it is the largest hall in the NHL), will be the venue for the 113th title fights from today, which will be broadcast on Eurosport 1 from 5.30 p.m broadcast live.

The paper promises Japanese festivals: Shoma Uno (26) for the men and Kaori Sakamoto (23) for the women, who are reaching for their third World Cup gold in a row, are considered untouchable – also because the strong Russian team has been there since After more than two years of ongoing war of aggression against Ukraine, the international association ISU still does not give it permission to take off.

“To another world”

“Of course, this very difficult situation puts a strain on me. But when I go on the ice, I can imagine myself in a different world. Then I just concentrate on my program and my music. I want to enjoy every moment,” says the native Ukrainian, who, eight years ago, as a three-time youth national champion, moved with her mother from Kharkiv to Feldkirch in order to be close to her coach Elena Romanowa.

Mikutina has been running for Austria for a long time (namely since 2020) – and quite successfully. At the 2023 European Championships in Finland, the now 20-year-old was even on course for a medal in fourth place before the free skate, then everything went wrong – twelfth place.

This year she rehabilitated herself in Kaunas (Lithuania) with eighth place. At the World Cup, the top 15 is realistic – especially when you consider that Mikutina surprised by finishing eighth in Stockholm in 2021. She was only 17 at the time, but her 198.77 points remain her personal best to this day. “My form is right,” said Mikutina, who doesn’t have to deal with jet lag.

At home in New Jersey

Her journey to Montreal was quite short: after graduating from high school, Mikutina moved her center of life to New Jersey at the end of August 2023, where she is studying business/administration at Montclair State University. “Here I can combine ice skating and training perfectly,” she says: “I now feel more stable, more mature, more self-confident.” Also ready for the next step are the Italian-born Maurizio Zandron (World Cup 17, 2022) and the pairs World Cup debutants Sophia Schaller/Livio Mayr, who impressed in fifth place in the Challenge Cup at the dress rehearsal in Tilburg.

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