Something I notice is how the skating establishment of bloggers and “journalists” here are so American centric. To listen to them you would think that American skaters are the absolute best and other skaters in the world simply don’t exist.
I feel this is one of the reasons skating popularity here in America has decreased. The establishment refuses to embrace top talents from around the world to try to perpetuate the myth that American skating is the best.
It makes me cringe to see people overrate young US skaters so much when if they were at all informed they would know there is young Russian skaters who are light years better.
The Internet thankfully has allowed people to independently learn about the skating talent in the world. This has led to a growing amount of people like myself that have become fans of Russian skating and try to spread the word about their up and coming talent.
I have put together a list of some of the best Russian girls novice skaters. This list is a combination of blue chip prospects and some I see talent in and hope they can attain that level. Quite frankly I am leaving off this list a slew of novices with triple jumps that would be any other countries top novice but I wanted to limit it to the girls I feel are something special.
Anastasia Gubanova – Born 12-2-2002
Anastasia Gubanova in my opinion is the best novice in the world. She and the next entry on this list, Liza Nugumanova, are generally considered the two best female skaters under 13 years old. They both already have solid 3-3 jump combinations despite their youth.
Unfortunately because of a misguided ISU rule, they will not be age eligible for the 2018 Olympics because they were born after July 1st. But even if they never go to an Olympics they should win many high level events in the coming years.
Here is a recent protocol from Gubanova’s long program. There isn’t many senior skaters in the world who could top this score and shes barely 12 years old.
Liza Nugumanova – Born 8-25-2002
Liza Nugumanova I would say is the 2nd best novice in the world, although a strong case could be made that she is the best. This season she made great strides in program difficulty and consistency. She is also really building a name for herself with viral videos of difficult jumps she is able to do.
She has a very socialable personality and marketable look, which will help her become the face of Russian skating. This is the type of girl the US fed needs to develop but has failed miserably.
The friendly rivalry with Gubanova, who is the same age and lives in the same city, should really help them to push each other to be the best in the coming years.
Alisa Fedichkina – Born 2-14-2002
Alisa Fedichkina is a skater I would compare in talent very similar to Anna Pogorilaya. Good jumper, good look, not a super high ceiling but still a strong asset. She will be able to compete in international juniors in the coming season.
Polina Tsurskaya – Born 7-11-2001
Polina Tsurskaya to me is sort of like a better version of Polina Edmunds. She is a taller skater that is a big jumper and decent artistry. She will be able to compete in international juniors in the coming season.
Anastasia Mukhortova – Born 5-17-2003
Anastasia Mukhortova has largely gone under the rader because of how good Nugumanova and Gubanova are. Shes a bit younger and doesn’t have as developed jumps as them yet. But she does show great skill for her age and sooner than later will get her 3-3 combo. Also she has flexibility and spins that are similar to Yulia Lipnitskaya’s.
Alina Solovyova – Born 2-11-2002
Alina Solovyova has really started to emerge this season and could become a much more prominent skater next season. Big jumper with a really marketable look. She will be eligible to compete in international juniors next season.
Anna Shcherbakova – Born 3-28-2004
Anna Shcherbakova is a younger skater and won’t be eligible for juniors for a couple more years. She shows very solid all around skill and will be interesting how she continues to develop next season.
Kamila Valieva – Born 2006
For the final skater on the list I choose a young skater that exhibits rare ability for her age. She has natural prescense and skating skills that you just can’t teach. At only turning 9 this year she still has quite a bit of time to develop a 3-3 combo.
There is also a great young group of male skaters coming soon as well but for this article I choose to focus on the girls.