Let the skating begin
The problem is $$$$ Skaters in Russia and Japan can make more money doing shows assuming they wish to stay in skating. This was a primary reason Sotnikova didn't return. Even with federation support, it costs a lot to train and the prize money is split among federations, coaches etc. And, no doubt they burn out. They grow up, get married, have children, go to school, start professional lives. Normally, a 17 year old is just finishing high school and getting ready to go to university. Very few have already achieved the pinnacle of a sport at that age. And, there is no doubt she's looking behind her just as Rad, Pogo, and even Med were looking back at her. That's just the way of the current state of ladies skating in Russia. I hope she enjoys skating in the shows and if circumstances are such next year or the year after and she wants to return to competitive skating, good for her. If she opts not to, than good for her.Yes - very harsh. She achieved a lot in a very short period of time with some memorable performances.
Figure skating seems to be very good at producing shooting stars that burn brightly for a brief period, but then burn out and disappear after only a few years. The ISU need to do a lot more to keep its top performers in the sport for longer. Every sport needs name recognition to build up a following. It’s no good having too much of a here today gone tomorrow situation.
But as for shooting stars, Jim Morrison probably said it best: “I see myself as a huge fiery comet, a shooting star. Everyone stops, points up and gasps "Oh look at that!" Then - whoosh, and I'm gone... and they'll never see anything like it ever again... and they won't be able to forget me - ever.”
Zagitova’s career may have been short, but she left her mark and she will be remembered