Figure skating is a pretty brutal sport. At the age of 26, it is quite possible to be considered a veteran here. But Elizaveta Tuktamysheva is not embarrassed by this status: every year she goes to the starts and often ends up in the top three, imposing a fight on much younger skaters. Fans called her the Empress - and she lives up to this nickname.
Elizabeth was born in Udmurtia - in the city of Glazov. Already at a young age, she liked her current coach Alexei Mishin - after winning the Cup named after him. But he did not take her to him the first time, considering Lisa's technique to be imperfect. But he soon changed his mind. Tuktamysheva, together with her first coach Svetlana Veretennikova, traveled twice a month from Glazov to St. Petersburg for training with Mishin for five years. The family moved to the northern capital only in 2011, seeing the success of their daughter.
Trips to the eminent coach were not fruitless. Already in 2009, at the age of 12, Tuktamysheva participated in her first adult championship of Russia, where she immediately took second place. Then she was called a child prodigy: she performed an axel in three and a half turns and a combination of “triple lutz - triple toe loop”, owned the entire arsenal of triple jumps and even trained a quadruple! But according to ISU rules, she was still too young for adult international competitions. Therefore, for some time she shone only on her native ice.
In 2010, the figure skater first performed at the international junior start - and immediately won it. It was the stage of the Grand Prix in Romania. In the final of the series, she became the second, losing to Adelina Sotnikova (she also lost the Russian championship a year earlier). At the Junior World Championships, she was also second - Sotnikova was again on the top step of the podium.
In the 2011/12 season, the skater made her debut in the adult Grand Prix. Tuktamysheva won the stage in Canada, and then in France, but she made a lot of mistakes in the final of the series and could not enter the top three. But she entered the national team among girls and went with her to the Youth Olympic Games, where she won gold medals.
Tuktamysheva's best year was 2015, when she won gold at the World and European Championships and won the Grand Prix final. Previously, these three competitions in one season were submitted only to Irina Slutskaya. It was in this year that Elizabeth earned her famous nickname.
The figure skater also started the next year with success in the international arena, but at the domestic championship she showed one of the worst results - eighth place. This did not allow her to qualify for the World and European Championships. The next season went the same way. The Olympic year also did not bring success to the skater - she could not qualify for the Games in Beijing. Only in 2019, Elizabeth again went to the world championship - team - where she helped the Russian team win bronze.
The skater missed the quarantine season 2020/21 due to illness. Tuktamysheva suffered from coronavirus, did not have time to fully recover, but went to the start in the Russian Championship, made many mistakes and became only the seventh. At the Cup of Russia she became the fourth and for the first time since 2015 she got to the World Cup. In Stockholm, the figure skater won silver. This year, three Russians entered the podium at once.
Another year - and a whole series of successes at the stages of the Grand Prix and domestic competitions. As never before in the 2021/2022 season, Tuktamysheva was close to going to the first adult Olympics in her career. She was the first substitute in the national team, but went home from the training camp.
In the season that ended, she did not perform very well at the jumping tournament, but she became third at the Russian Championship.
The next season will be the 16th in her career for Tuktamysheva! And this is despite the fact that the age of figure skaters is considered short: few single skaters go to the second Olympic cycle. But Elizabeth continues to shine - and she is not going to finish. No wonder she is an empress!