Beijing Winter Olympic champion Anna Sherbakova has expressed her excitement at returning to the ice after undergoing knee surgery in Germany last month – and the young star’s fans were just as happy to see her back.
Sherbakova, 18, revealed in mid-August that she would need to go under the knife, explaining that “Due to my old knee injury, I cannot train at full strength.”
She then said the operation was a success, and just a month later the Olympic gold medalist is already training again.
“Back home,” Shcherbakova wrote in a social media message to fans on Thursday, with whom she can be seen gliding across the ice at the Khristalnyi training center in Moscow.
The skater – who is also the 2021 world champion and three-time Russian national champion – was welcomed back by her supporters.
“Welcome back, Snow Princess,” Read a response from one of Shcherbakova’s many fan accounts.
“Looking forward to watching you write your own fairy tale,” wrote another fan.
“We missed you on the ice!” Another said, though Shcherbakova will probably be relieved that she was sidelined for a relatively short period of time.
However, Sherbakova won’t be back soon enough to take part in the Russian national team trials in Moscow this weekend.
The lineup includes Olympic silver medalist Alexandra Trusova, fan favorite Elizaveta Takamisheva, and world record points holder Kamila Veleva.
Valeva, 16, is set to learn her fate soon in the doping scandal that overshadowed her appearance at the Beijing Games in February.
Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) officials said last week that their investigation was complete, and that a hearing would be held in late September or early October.
Valeva and his team have consistently denied wrongdoing after a sample taken last December tested positive for the heart drug trimetazidine, but this was only reported after the Beijing Games began.
WADA outlined expectations for Valiva’s investigation.
More broadly, Russian skating stars are banned from international competition by the International Skating Union (ISU) because of the conflict in Ukraine.
Russian officials have said they will arrange alternative domestic events to compensate for the absence.
Such is their popularity abroad, Shcherbakova, Valieva and Trusova have also been offered a lucrative tour in China, where the trio has a huge fan base.
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