‘It gives you sense of purpose to live’: Skating star Tuktamysheva says call-up for world championships left her ‘overwhelmed’

Russian figure-skating star Elizaveta Tuktamysheva has spoken of her joy at being selected for the national team on the grandest stage, revealing how it drives her on and provides extra motivation to grow as an elite athlete.

The 24-year-old, who will return to the major international figure skating event following a six-year break, said she was overwhelmed with joy and happiness after learning that she’d earned her place in one of the three sports on the national women’s team to take part in the world championship.

Tuktamysheva was officially included in the team after finishing fourth at the Cup of Russia final, right behind junior skaters who are not yet age-eligible to participate in senior competitions.

It was such a joy. I believed that it could be possible [to progress to the national team] if I delivered clean skating at the Cup of Russia final,” the skater said.

“But when this really happened, I was overwhelmed with emotions – even more than I had expected,” 

The worst thing that might happen to a professional athlete is a lack of motivation. But when you know that you have a big start lying ahead and you are getting ready for the world championship, you have sense of purpose to live because you are a professional athlete who has dedicated her entire life to sport.”

The 2015 World and European champion also expressed regret that the upcoming world championship in Stockholm will be held without spectators, explaining that an athlete has a serious adrenaline rush when performing in front of the crowd.

I think all athletes will be calmer while participating in the worlds because, when you skate in front of the huge audience, it raises pressure and adrenaline,” she said. “But when everything is quiet and calm, you’re not that nervous.”

This year’s championships will run in Stockholm from March 22-28.

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