Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva became the first woman in Olympic history to land a quadruple Salchow jump during her free skate on Sunday. She also landed a second quadruple toe loop and triple axel before falling on a third attempt.
The Russian Olympic Committee had clinched the gold medal in the team event before Valieva even took the ice, but her performance gave them a nine-point separation in the final results.
HISTORY MADE!15-year-old Kamila Valiyeva is the first woman to successfully land a quad at the #WinterOlympics. pic.twitter.com/rfXzOM09lH— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 7, 2022
HISTORY MADE!15-year-old Kamila Valiyeva is the first woman to successfully land a quad at the #WinterOlympics. pic.twitter.com/rfXzOM09lH
The 15-year-old Valieva received a 178.92 for the performance, more than 30 points higher than second-place finisher Kaori Sakamoto.
“I do feel this burden a bit, this pressure, because this is my first season among adult skaters,” Valieva said. “I believe that I’m coping with this pressure, and sometimes it even pushes me forward. It helps me.”
With Valieva’s score, the ROC finished the team event with 74 total points. The United States came in second with a final score of 65, the highest-ever point total for the U.S. in the event. The silver medal was Team USA’s best result in the team event since it debuted at the Olympics in 2014.
Valieva’s performance followed a dominant short program in which she scored 90.18 points, just outside of the world-record 90.45 points she scored at the European Championships last month.
The figure skating singles event gets underway on Tuesday, Feb. 15.