YouTube: Keeping Tabs on the “Next Ones”

When the Shibutanis made a huge splash on the senior level this season, many of skating’s dedicated supporters already knew they were on the rise. Five years ago, this wasn’t the norm. So what has changed?

One word: YouTube. It’s a noun and a verb, all rolled into one glorious word that makes it easy to pinpoint figure skating’s next generation.

And right now, the next generation is embodied in a pack of tiny Russian female dynamos.

Adelina Sotnikova, 14, had already won two Russian senior titles prior to claiming the 2011 World Junior title. Three years of her competitive history has been chronicled — search her on YouTube and prepare to be blown away.

Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, also 14, was the runner-up at Junior Worlds. A video of her landing a textbook triple Axel in June 2010 has had over 60,000 hits. Tip: Also search for the alternate spelling of her name, Tuktamisheva.

Take some time and get to know the rest of the Russian ladies’ wonder team, some of whom are still too young to compete at the Junior Grand Prix level.

A great place to start is on YouTube with figuristlubitel, who has posted a collection of 60+ videos.

Originally published in June 2011