Russian teen figure skater Julia Lipnitskaia is struggling with "constant stress" in the wake of her team gold medal at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games, according to The Associated Press.
Lipnitskaia was only 15 when her team won gold in Sochi last February. The skater, now 16, told the AP that the pressure of high expectations has been difficult to deal with in the aftermath of the Olympics.
Since earning the Olympic team gold, Lipnitskaia has not won an event. But she has also felt the pressure off the ice.
She told the AP that her life has "no freedom at all":
"Whatever you do, everything is interpreted the wrong way and then has to be justified," Lipnitskaia said. "It's not life, it's constant stress.
"I'm a person like everyone else. I try to work on the things people expect of me, but I can't live up to everyone's desires and whims."
At the Olympics, Lipnitskaia became the youngest figure skater to earn a gold medal since 1936, the AP notes. She received praise from the likes of Russian president Vladimir Putin after her performance.
At the Cup of China last week, she performed poorly and accidentally skipped the awards ceremony because she was stressed after her skate, according to the AP
Russia won 33 medals at the Sochi Olympic Games, more than any other country. It also won the most gold medals. The United States finished with 28 medals, good for the second-highest total.
- Stanley Kay