Aliona Savchenko is one of the most celebrated (and well-decorated) figure skaters in the world.
According to Cosmopolitan, Aliona has won five World Championships gold medals, four gold medals at the Grand Prix Final, and four European Championships gold medals. But in all her years of competing, Aliona had never won an Olympic gold medal — and not for lack of trying.
The 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang marks the 34-year-old skater’s fifth appearance at the Olympics. According to NBC Olympics, she has competed with three different partners in her various Olympic appearances.
The Ukrainian-born German skater previously competed at the 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2014 games. Aliona previously took home the bronze in 2010 and 2014 with former partner Robin Szolkowy, but it wasn’t until 2018 that her Olympic gold dreams finally came true.
Scroll through to see Aliona’s beautiful performance with her skating partner, Bruno Massot, and the incredible moment when she realized she was finally taking home a gold medal.
Photo: Getty Images / Richard Heathcote
Aliona and Bruno were in fourth place at the conclusion of the first part of the pairs’ skaters competition, the short program, which was held on Tuesday.
Sui Wenjing and Han Cong, the figure skating duo from China, were in first place after the short program.
Aliona and Bruno rebounded in the pairs’ free skate.
People can’t stop talking about Aliona’s emotional reaction to completing her fifth Olympic appearance, with one viewer calling it “a truly Olympic moment.”
The champion figure skater dramatically collapsed to the ice, totally overcome with what she’d accomplished, as Bruno hugged her.
The pair’s reactions to the final skaters finishing their routines, as they wondered whether they’d hang onto their lead, also went viral.
After China’s pairs’ skaters, who had previously been in first place, completed their performance, the German duo realized they were still on top — with a score less than half a point higher than their counterparts!
The Canadian team, Eric Radford and Meagan Duhamel, performed last and finished with a 230.15, putting them in third place.
When Eric and Meagan’s scores were announced and Bruno and Aliona realized they’d won gold, the German skaters totally lost it.
Viewers loved Aliona’s triumphant and completely raw reaction to achieving her lifelong goal.
Even Meagan was moved to congratulate her opponent and hug her!
According to NBC Olympics, Aliona and Bruno’s win was also the first pairs’ gold medal for Germany since 1952.
“Today I wrote history,” Aliona said. “This is what counts. It is my moment. We celebrated new year together and we said 2018 will be our year and it became our year.” Bruno added: “I got the gold medal in my head. Yesterday I said I don’t want her to come back with another bronze medal. She deserved this gold medal.”
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