Russia won it’s first Gold medal of the Sochi Olympic games on Sunday night when fan-favorite Evgeni Plushenko and the rest of Russia’s assembled figure skating team were declared victorious in the first ever team figure skating event.

Russia’s team easily won gold in the event, earning 75 points total, 10 more than second place Canada and 15 more than bronze-winning U.S.

Plushenko, who competed as a soloist in the event, has now won four Olympic medals in figure skating, making him the most decorated figure skater of modern times. This is his second gold medal. Plushenko ensured Russia’s win with his first place finish in the men’s long program Sunday. Though many have criticized Plushenko’s lack of risk in his routine, all agree that his qualities as an entertainer, and previous injuries, more than justify his decision to play it safe.

“Many skaters are good, but Evgeni has charisma. He radiates power. He radiates a sense of beauty. He radiates something that spectacles need. The majority loves him, the minority jealous,” longtime coach Aleksei Mishin said.

While Plushenko’s longevity in the sport and record-breaking victories has earned him praise, it is 15-year-old Yulia Lipnitskaya who emerged as the Russian figure skater to watch.

Lipnitskaya is being heralded as a prodigy after giving a show stopping performance in the women’s short program.

“She’s a genius,” Plushenko said of Lipnitskaya.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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