For a football or hockey player at 17 years old, the sporting journey is just beginning. In figure skating, everything is different - the other day 17-year-old Daria Usacheva announced her retirement. She showed great promise, but spent only an incomplete season in adult figure skating - her ascent was cut short by injury.
And it began in Usacheva’s native Khabarovsk. She first started skating at the age of three, but due to the lack of a serious figure skating school in the Far East, her parents decided to move to the capital. Initially I trained at the Sambo-70 center. When Usacheva was ten years old, her parents sent her to Eteri Tutberidze for an audition, but the prima of the Russian coaching workshop did not accept her: there were no triple jumps in Daria’s creative arsenal. She will get to Tutberidze in a year, having managed to eliminate all the gaps.
The change of coach inspired Dasha. However, Tutberidze’s championship conveyor is, first of all, hellish work, training and self-sacrifice. Adaptation was not easy, but the presence of Alina Zagitova and Alexandra Trusova nearby, and the sensitivity of the coaches inspired and helped.
The work yielded results: in the 2019/20 season, she performed at the international level for the first time and managed to show herself: she twice won silver at the Junior Grand Prix at stages in Croatia and Latvia and became third in the final. And then she became the silver medalist of the World Championship in the same age category, losing only to Kamila Valieva.
The next season became significant for Usacheva: she made her way into adult figure skating and managed to prove herself. Daria was a little short of bronze at the Russian Championship, but in the final of the Russian Cup she still became third, ahead of the experienced prima Elizaveta Tuktamysheva. In the fall of 2021, Usacheva entered the big international ice for the first time, taking second place at the Skate America Grand Prix stage: in Las Vegas, only Alexandra Trusova was better than Daria.
It seemed that now her career would only go up: Usacheva was praised for the impeccable precision of her performances, which compensated for her lack of elements of maximum complexity in her programs. Although little by little she was learning the quadruple Salchow and triple Axel - clearly with an eye on future big victories. And for the Olympics in Beijing as well.
But they didn't happen. In November of the same 2021, Usacheva arrived at the Japanese Grand Prix and fell awkwardly during the rollout, receiving a stress fracture of the femur in the growth zone, provoked by high loads.
After recovering last winter, she tried to switch to dancing, but her partner Dario Chirisano refused to take such an adventure. As a result, Usacheva returned to Tutberidze’s group, jumping triple jumps and triple cascades. One can only guess how much work it took, but at first glance it seemed that Daria was almost ready to try again to enter the elite of Russian figure skating. And then suddenly the news about the end of his career. What's happened?
Psychological problems, conflict with Tutberidze, lack of motivation? Perhaps someday we will hear the answer to these questions. In the meantime, we can only regret that figure skater Usacheva did not realize even a small part of her potential. Perhaps coach Usacheva, who will now work at Adelina Sotnikova’s school, will succeed.