In the split second that Russian figure skater Alexandra Trusova planted her toe-pick and launched herself into the air, she made history by becoming the first woman to successfully land a quadruple Lutz jump in a competition. She’s only 14 years old.
Sporting a Rapunzel braid and holding her Chihuahua pup, Tina, the shy, softly-spoken athlete chatted with Young Post over Skype about how she mastered some of the most difficult jumps in figure skating history.
At the age of four, Alexandra (who goes by the nickname Sasha) received a pair of roller skates from her parents, and she has barely taken them off since.
“Even when I wasn’t skating, I had them on at all times – I was walking, crawling, having dinner, and even sleeping in them,” she says. “So my parents decided to enrol me in figure skating lessons, which I enjoyed a lot.”
While most of us skate for fun, then-nine-year-old Sasha had bigger plans. “I started to train more intensively after moving to Moscow,” she says. “Moreover, I’ve always had this dream of winning an Olympic medal one day.”
Of course, the training needed to take her to the next level was no walk in the park. “I wake up very early, usually at sunrise,” she says. “Warm-ups start at 10am, and we then have to do training on ice, fitness programmes and dance classes; all in all, it lasts around six to seven hours.”
Unlike her adult counterparts, Sasha must deal with ordinary teen struggles while she’s breaking world records. “I have home tutors who give me private lessons,” she says. “At other times, I go to school or study by myself.”
At home, Sasha spends time with her two younger brothers and Tina, and her cousins and grandparents are often around.
But while home life is normal, Sasha’s rise to stardom has been anything but. In September, she became the first women ever to perform a quadruple toe loop followed by a triple toe loop – a notoriously difficult combination. The following month, she’d make history again.
We spoke to figure skating marvel, @avtrusova! Pick up a copy of Sunday Young Post today to read all about her training schedule, her pup, Tina, and being the first woman to land *that* quad Lutz! #sashatrusova #alexandratrusova #figureskating #iceskating #quadlutz #quadjump #isufigureskating #SYP #hkig #thisgirlcan
The Oxford Dictionary defines a Lutz jump as a jump “from the backward outside edge of one skate to the backward outside edge of the other, with one or more full turns in the air”. It is named after Austrian figure skater Alois Lutz who first performed it in 1913. The first person to land a quad Lutz in an official competition was Brandon Mroz in 2011. During her free skate routine at last year’s ISU Junior Grand Prix in Armenia in October, Sasha became the first female to do it.
When asked how she did it, her answer may surprise you: “I think anyone can do it, it’s just a matter of gaining speed and momentum and putting all of that into your jump.
“It is often considered the most difficult because of how many points it adds to your overall score in competition,” she adds. “But personally, I can’t say that it is more difficult than other jumps, as they are all different.”
She may be a solo competitor, but training as a team is an important part of self-motivation.
“We often have competitions among ourselves; when someone does a jump during training, the others will be asked to put their own spin on it and do it better,” Sasha says.
“But of course, outside the rink, we are all kids who love to joke around and laugh a lot.”
Although the teenager says she doesn’t have any pre-competition rituals, she does take Tina with her “for good luck – she’s like a live mascot!”
But its clear from her success already that Sasha doesn’t need luck. And that her accomplishments so far are only the beginning.
“I haven’t learned the triple axel or quad Rittberger yet – they are quite difficult for me and I still haven’t managed to do them.”
As the countdown to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics begins, Sasha – with Tina in tow – is certain to keep making history.
Facts about Sasha:
- She is the first woman in history to land a quadruple Lutz at an official event, according to the International Skating Union.
- She’s also the first in women’s skating to have landed the quadruple toe loop followed by the Salchow in competition.
- Her awards include: 2018 World Junior champion, winner of the 2017 Junior Grand Prix Final, and two-time Russian junior national champion.
- She scored a record-breaking 92.35 points at last year’s World Junior Figure Skating Championships, the highest-ever free skate technical score in World Junior history.