SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Bursting from the shadow of her adored teammate, Adelina Sotnikova gave Russia its first gold medal in women's Olympic figure skating.
While much-heralded Julia Lipnitskaia was stumbling, the 17-year-old Sotnikova soared. When she won the free skate Thursday at the Sochi Games, she denied South Korea's Yuna Kim from defending her title and confirmed Russian command of the sport once more.
"This is the happiest day in my life," Sotnikova said. "I simply stepped on the ice today and realized how much I like what I'm doing and skated really good."
The Russians have won three figure skating gold medals at these Olympics: team, pairs and women's.
Italy's Carolina Kostner took bronze. Lipnitskaia was fifth.
American Gracie Gold finished fourth, Ashley Wagner was seventh and 15-year-old American Polina Edmunds ended up ninth.