“After the Olympics I grew up,” Sotnikova told RIA Novosti. “I feel that my perspective not only on sport, but on life in general has changed. I look differently at my skating now. I want to show people that I deserved to be an Olympic champion, that it was not a coincidence, that I’ve got a gold medal for a reason!”
Sotnikova won gold under controversial circumstances, over 2010 Olympic champion Yuna Kim of South Korea. The Korea Skating Union filed two complaints in the spring over the judging in Sochi, which were rejected by the International Skating Union.
The complaints specifically mentioned Sochi Olympic judge Alla Shekhovtseva, who made headlines in the aftermath of the women’s free skate as being married to a top Russian figure skating federation official and was seen hugging Sotnikova shortly after she won gold.
Outside of the judging, Sotnikova’s gold was peculiar because she had finished ninth in her only World Championships appearance, the previous year.
Sotnikova, who turned 18 on July 1, became the first woman to win individual Olympic figure skating gold with no prior World Championships medals.