Yulia Lipnitskaya details retirement, anorexia

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Yulia Lipnitskaya, the darling figure skater of the Sochi Olympics, said she hasn’t seen her skates since November and spent a long time in an Israel health clinic to treat health problems before retiring.

Lipnitskaya, who won team event gold in Sochi at age 15, retired following a three-month treatment for anorexia, it was first reported in August.

“Anorexia is a disease of the 21st century, it occurs quite often,” Lipnitskaya said in an interview published by the Russian Figure Skating Federation, according to a translation. “Unfortunately, not everyone overcomes it. I’ve considered that there was nothing bad if I’d openly speak about it. I only regret that I did not do this earlier, because this is not the first year this has been going on, nor the second or third year.”

Lipnitskaya struggled after becoming the youngest Olympic figure skating champion since 1936 and winning a world silver medal the following month.

In fact, she said in the interview published Tuesday that she wanted to try ice dancing after Sochi. That didn’t happen.

Staying in singles, she was ninth and seventh at the next two Russian Championships and ended her career at the Rostelecom Cup in November, finishing in last place.

“I came home, put my skates in the closet, and I have not seen them since,” she said, according to the translation. “I’m no longer attracted to the ice. In January, I left for the clinic. That’s the whole story.”

Lipnitskaya said that while she was in the Israel clinic, her phone was stolen. She purchased a new phone, but she only knew one person’s phone number by heart — her mom.

When Lipnitskaya returned home from the clinic, she and her mom decided together that she would retire.

Non-competitive ice shows have made her offers, but Lipnitskaya said she has no desire to participate in them. Her mind may change, but for now she is focused on enrolling in a university.

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MORE: Sochi Olympic figure skating champion won’t defend title

2022 Ironman Kona World Championships results

Ironman Kona World Championships
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2022 Ironman Kona World Championship top-10 results and notables (full, searchable pro and age group results are here) …

Pro Women
1. Chelsea Sodaro (USA) — 8:33:46
2. Lucy Charles-Barclay (GBR) — 8:41:37
3. Anne Haug (GER) — 8:42:22
4. Laura Philipp (GER) — 8:50:31
5. Lisa Norden (SWE) — 8:54:43
6. Fenella Langridge (GBR) — 8:56:26
7. Sarah Crowley (AUS) — 9:01:58
8. Daniela Ryf (SUI) — 9:02:26
9. Skye Moench (USA) — 9:04:31
10. Laura Siddall (GBR) — 9:07:49
16. Heather Jackson (USA) — 9:22:17
DNF. Sarah True (USA)

Pro Men
Race is on Saturday, live on Peacock at 12 p.m. ET.

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Chelsea Sodaro wins Ironman Kona World Championship, ends American drought

Chelsea Sodaro
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Chelsea Sodaro was the surprise winner of the Ironman Kona World Championships women’s race, ending the longest American victory drought in the event’s 44-year history.

Sodaro, a 33-year-old mom to an 18-month-old, prevailed in an unofficial 8 hours, 33 minutes, 46 seconds on Hawaii’s Big Island.

“My mind is a little bit blown right now,” she said in a finish area interview 25 minutes later, standing next to her daughter, Skylar. “This is the culmination of things being right in my life and having perspective. … This is freakin’ incredible, but the greatest gift at the end of the finish line is my little 18-month-old.”

Sodaro was in fifth place after the 2.6-mile swim and 112-mile bike, then recorded one of the fastest 26.2-mile marathon runs in event history (2:51:45) to win by 7 minutes, 50 seconds over Brit Lucy Charles-Barclay.

Swiss Daniela Ryf, who was eyeing her sixth Ironman world title, led after the bike but faded quickly on the run.

MORE: Ironman Kona Race Results

Sodaro, whose lone previous full Ironman was a second-place finish at June’s European Championships (reportedly in the second-fastest Ironman distance debut in history), became the first American to win in Kona since Tim DeBoom in 2002 and the first American to win the women’s race since Zimbabwean-turned-American Paula Newby-Fraser in 1996.

She is the first woman or man to win in their Kona debut since Brit Chrissie Wellington took the first of her four titles in 2007.

Sodaro (née Reilly) was an All-America runner at Cal, then placed 19th in the 10,000m at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials.

She turned to triathlon in 2017, made podiums on the World Cup circuit (just below the top-level World Series for Olympic hopefuls) and moved up to long-distance racing in 2018.

At the half Ironman distance, she was fourth at the 2019 World Championships, her last major championship start before the pandemic, pregnancy, childbirth and a move up to the full Ironman this year.

“I’m pretty stoked that I think I maybe get to take the rest of the year off and be a mom for a month or so,” Sodaro said.

The pro men’s race is Saturday, live on Peacock at 12 p.m. ET.

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