Sochi Olympics

Putin Cheers on Russian Phenom at Sochi Figure Skating

SOCHI, Russia — Russian President Vladimir Putin took in some figure skating Sunday, cheering on a 15-year-old phenom who led the host nation to its first gold medal of the Sochi Olympics.

Putin watched as Yulia Lipnitskaya completed her free skate at the Iceberg Skating Palace. She scored 141.51 — good for first place in the category.

The team figure skating competition, making its debut in Sochi, combines various skating disciplines.

Putin cut an unmistakable figure at the opening ceremony on Friday, reviewing the proceedings from his presidential box and then standing to formally declare the Sochi Games open.

Lipnitskaya has dazzled crowds at the Iceberg. They have showered the ice with flowers and teddy bears after her routines, and broken into national-pride chants of "Ross-i-ya!"