The New York TimesThe New York Times

Before Failing a Drug Test, Kamila Valieva Was a Skating Phenomenon

By Juliet Macur

13 Feb 2022 · 4 min read

BEIJING — After leading her Russian team to the gold medal in the figure skating team event last Monday, before the world around her started to crumble, Kamila Valieva stood at the front of a room filled with reporters.

At first, she couldn’t figure out how to wear the earpiece that delivered her simultaneous translations and looked around for help. She fumbled with the microphone and then giggled nervously when searching for her words, like the 15-year-old she is.

Sign in to informed

  • Curated articles from premium publishers, ad-free
  • Concise Daily Briefs with quick-read summaries
  • Read, listen, save for later, or enjoy offline
  • Enjoy personalized content