The skater performed a forbidden trick at the European Championships, but still won

Despite the reduc­tion in points for a pro­hib­it­ed trick, the French­man became a two-time Euro­pean cham­pi­on. Based on the results of two pro­grams, he scored 276.17 points.

French fig­ure skater Adam Xiao Him Fa became the win­ner of the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships, held in the Lithuan­ian city of Kau­nas, for the sec­ond time. He did it quite spec­tac­u­lar­ly: at the end of his free pro­gram, he per­formed a for­bid­den ele­ment — a back­flip.

The reign­ing cham­pi­on of the tour­na­ment per­formed a som­er­sault in his free pro­gram, for which he received 182.04 points. Based on the results of two pro­grams, he scored 276.17 points.

The French­man had pre­vi­ous­ly per­formed a som­er­sault in Octo­ber at the Shang­hai Tro­phy tour­na­ment in Chi­na. Then he was deduct­ed two points as a fine, but this did not stop the skater from win­ning.

Adam Xiao Him Fa has already turned the som­er­sault into his trick. Dur­ing his per­for­mance at the Grand Prix in France, he per­formed a stunt while leav­ing the ice. That time he man­aged to avoid a fine. In Kau­nas, the French­man was pun­ished for doing a som­er­sault in the same way as in Chi­na, and he knew that he was depriv­ing him­self of points, but he still decid­ed to do this per­for­mance.

Of course, the free pro­gram requires more ener­gy than the exhi­bi­tion pro­gram, but I felt good, I had the strength to do it, and I want­ed to per­form it in front of the crowd. I did this to pro­mote our sport. It’s less dan­ger­ous than it seems“Adam com­ment­ed on his trick to Gold­en Skate.

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The only ath­lete in the his­to­ry of fig­ure skat­ing who per­formed a som­er­sault legal­ly is Amer­i­can Ter­ry Kubic­ka. Despite the fact that he did not win sig­nif­i­cant titles, his per­for­mances were unfor­get­table for spec­ta­tors and judges.

In 1976, he per­formed a som­er­sault at three tour­na­ments in a row (US Cham­pi­onships, Olympics, World Cham­pi­onships), after which the Inter­na­tion­al Skat­ing Union urgent­ly banned this ele­ment, jus­ti­fy­ing its deci­sion as a health haz­ard.

Jump­ing around a hor­i­zon­tal axis is pro­hib­it­ed by the rules of fig­ure skat­ing. How­ev­er, there have been record­ed cas­es of their exe­cu­tion in com­pe­ti­tions.

In one of the most famous cas­es, French fig­ure skater and five-time Euro­pean cham­pi­on Suriya Bonaly per­formed a som­er­sault in her free skate at the 1998 Olympics.

Surya Bonali

Many viewed this act as an act of protest against the judg­ing, as a result of which the fig­ure skater took only 10th place at her last Olympics.

When you’re black, you have to be head and shoul­ders above any white oppo­nent. And I was not just a black skater, but also a black woman. If a man did some­thing like that, every­one would say: “He act­ed like a real man.”

I went down in his­to­ry as an ath­lete who, hav­ing lost her head, took an unrea­son­able risk. I hope that some­day my action will be appre­ci­at­ed as a con­tri­bu­tion to the devel­op­ment of fig­ure skat­ing“,” the French­woman explained her action.

The ban on som­er­saults in fig­ure skat­ing has not been lift­ed to this day.