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Skater Lipnitskaya Retires At 19 After Battling Anorexia


Russia's Yulia Lipnitskaya performs during the Figure Skating Gala Exhibition at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

Russian figure skater Yulia Lipnitskaya has retired at the age of 19 following a battle with anorexia.

Lipnitskaya's mother, Daniela, told Russia's Tass news agency on August 28 that her daughter informed Russian skating officials of her retirement several months ago.

"Yulia informed the [figure skating] federation of her decision to retire in April right after her return from Europe, where she underwent a course of treatment for anorexia," the agency quoted the 19-year-old skater's mother Daniela Lipnitskaya as saying.

Lipnitskaya won gold in the team event at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi when she was 15, becoming the youngest Olympic skating champion since 1936.

Lipnitskaya also won silver at the world championships in April 2014, which was her last major event.

She became a symbol of the Sochi Olympics for many Russians, especially after President Vladimir Putin praised her performances.

But she complained in November 2014 that she had lost her freedom and felt "constant stress" when trying to live up to her fans' expectations.

Poor performances at Russian nationals meant she wasn't selected for major championships.

Her last season was hampered by injuries, including a fall on an icy street which caused her to miss the nationals.

Another Russian figure skater, Yulia Antipova, saw her weight drop dangerously to 24 kilograms because of anorexia. Medics at the Israeli clinic where Antipova underwent rehabilitation in 2015 said it was a miracle the skater did not die.

On August 27, Yevgeny Plushenko, coach of Russia's Olympic individual champion Adelina Sotnikova, said she wouldn't defend her title next year due to injury.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP
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