5 Biggest Figure Skating Rivalries At The Winter Olympics


Posted: January 27, 2023

Updated: January 27, 2023

  • Despite its beauty and elegance, figure skating is a highly competitive sport
  • Look at some of the biggest figure skating rivalries that happened at the Winter Olympics

Despite its beauty and elegance, figure skating is a highly competitive sport, with real drama taking place on ice from time to time. Both men and women do their best to beat their rivals, which can result in a long-lasting hate or lead to a crime. We invite you to take a look at some of the biggest figure skating rivalries that happened at the Winter Olympics. 

bet365 Sportsbook Welcome Bonus

Bet £10 & Get £30 in Free Bets

Bet £10 & Get £30 in Free Bets for new customers at bet365. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply

Five Biggest Figure Skating Rivalries in History

Figure skating is one of the most popular winter sports of all time, with millions of followers in Europe, Asia, North America, etc. If you are interested in FS too, take a look at the five biggest rivalries that ever happened in this sport.

Tonya Harding v Nancy Kerrigan

Undoubtedly, the biggest scandal in the history of figure skating involves two American stars – Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan. Thanks to I, Tonya, the 2017 movie starring Margot Robbie, the story drew the attention of those who weren’t even interested in figure skating. Now everyone knows that Harding’s husband hired someone to intentionally hit on Kerrigan’s knee to force her withdrawal from the 1994 U.S.

Championships and the upcoming Olympic Games. Although Harding won the first competition, she placed 8th in Lillehammer, while Kerrigan won silver. Later, Harding was stripped of her U.S. title and banned from figure skating.

Alexei Yagudin and Evgeni Plushenko

The rivalry between two greatest Russian male figure skaters, Alexei Yagudin and Evgeni Plushenko, started in the 2000s and doesn’t seem to stop. Although these two don’t compete anymore, Yagudin and Plushenko can hardly stand each other after 20+ years.

It all started with Evgeni interrupting Yagudin’s series of victories at the World Championships. Figure skaters were constantly surpassing each other at different tournaments, with Yagudin beating Plushenko at the 2002 Winter Olympics. Although the latter won his own medal in 2006, the bitterness has left its impact on two best Russian male skaters in singles.

Yu Na Kim v Mao Asada

Yu Na Kim and Mao Asada had one of the biggest figure skating rivalries, growing from Juniors to the 2010 Winter Olympics. The whole world was watching South Korean and Japanese figure skating stars in Vancouver.

Although there wasn’t too much drama on ice, they perfectly reflected the eternal sports rivalry between their countries. As a result of the tension between South Korea and Japan in FS, Kim won the gold medal. She became the first woman from her country to do so, while Asada finished second. You can bet on the next Winter Olympics at online sportsbooks in Japan.

Katarina Witt v Debi Thomas

This rivalry started when Germany’s Katarina Witt and Debi Thomas from the US chose the same composition for their programs. From the moment they both decided to go with Bizet’s Carmen, their rivalry was inevitable. Although they both underperformed during the whole season, Witt won the competition and Thomas lost. At the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Witt took the gold home, while Thomas placed third. If you think something similar can happen at the Olympics again, check out the odds at Bet365.

Alina Zagitova v Evgenia Medvedeva

Alina Zagitova versus Evgenia Medvedeva is probably the biggest rivalry among females in Russian sport. It is also one of the biggest figure skating rivalries ever. Fans still arguing about the true winner of the 2018 Olympics. 15-years-old Zagitova, who has just switched to Seniors, surpassed her older teammate and everyone’s favorite Medvedeva by just one point and won the gold. This caused massive backlash from Evgenia’s fans, with Russian media adding fuel to the fire. Nowadays, girls don’t have any tension, but their friendship was forever ruined in Pyeongchang on that day.

Click here to try the best odds at Bet365 Sportsbook 

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments