January 01, 2002

Russia's Olympic Hopefuls

Russia’s Olympic team expects to do at least as well in Salt Lake City as it did four years ago in Nagano. There, the team brought home nine gold medals.

In ice skating, Russia will claim three golds if all of its heavily-favored skaters deliver on general expectations. In men’s singles, Yevgeny Plyushchenko (see Russian Life May/June 2001) and Leonid Yagudin are among the best in the world. In doubles, watch Anton Sikharulidze  and Yelena Berezhnaya. In women’s singles, keep an eye on Irina Slutskaya. Unfortunately, Russia has recently lost its supremacy in ice dancing, and Ilya Averbukh and Irina Lobacheva are only expected to take a bronze medal.

In the biathlon, where “Russia could win as many as five medals,” boasted the optimistic Russian Olympic Committee Chairman Leonid Tyagachev, the man to count on is Pavel Rostovtsev.

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