This Record-Breaking Olympic Skater Has A Not-So-Secret Love of Hip Hop

February 12, 2018

Sure, Evgenia Medvedeva may have just broken the world record for the highest score ever given to an Olympic skater for the ladies short program. And it’s very possible that she’ll be taking home the gold medal next week for the single skating event.

But honestly, that’s not why we love this Russian figure skater.

It’s because in addition to being one of the best skaters in the world, the 18-year-old is also an incredibly enthusiastic hip-hop/jazz dancer.

Exhibit A:

We love that such a prestigious athlete is so unafraid of tackling a style that isn’t necessarily her specialty. And we especially love that she’s unafraid to do it in the middle of a crowded mall:

Medvedeva may just be a teenager. But she’s also a two-time world champion, a two-time European champion, a two-time Russian national champion and a bonafide Russian celebrity. So it’s kinda amazing that she’s able to truly, dare we say, dance like no one’s watching.

Hip hop doesn’t have the obvious cross-training benefits for figure skating like ballet does. (Fellow first-time Olympian Nathan Chen studied at Ballet West for six years to supplement his skating.)

But Medvedeva isn’t exactly known for doing things the conventional way. Her recent record-setting routine was about “clinical death,” and last year she performed this epic program based on her favorite anime character, Sailor Moon:

Though we’ll probs be rooting for American (and triple axel-lander!) Mirai Nagasu next week, Medvedeva’s got our respect.