As a dejected Kamila Valieva exited the ice after her stunning fourth-place finish Thursday, she was approached by her coach Eteri Tutberidze.
“Why did you let it go?” Tutberidze was heard asking the 15-year-old ROC figure skater in Russian on the NBC broadcast. “Why did you stop fighting? Explain it to me. Why? You let it go after that axel. Why?”
It was the latest example of what Tutberidze’s critics consider harsh treatments and training methods — both on and off the ice. Those same methods have propelled Tutberidze and her skating club, Sambo 70, to the epicenter of women’s figure skating and produced medal winner after medal winner over the past decade.
Tutberidze’s skaters, dubbed the “Quad Squad,” nearly completed a podium sweep in Thursday’s women’s individual free skate. ROC’s Anna Shcherbakova won gold and teammate Alexandra Trusova took silver.
Insider reported that Russian coaches have referred to Tutberidze’s athletes as “disposable” or “perishable goods” and fans have used the term “Eteri expiration date” for skaters forced to retire at a young age due to injury.
Tutberidze is a former singles skater who switched to ice dancing following a spinal injury. She performed stints with the Russian Ice Ballet and Ice Capades in the 1990s before shifting to a career in coaching.
Here’s what else you need to know about Eteri Tutberidze.
How old is Eteri Tutberidze?
Tutberidze is 47 years old. She was born in February 1974, the youngest of five children.
Where was Eteri Tutberidze born?
Tutberidze was born in Moscow when the city was part of the Soviet Union. She still resides in Russia’s capital.
Where is Sambo 70 located?
Tutberidze’s skating club, Sambo 70, is located in Moscow.
When did Eteri Tutberidze begin figure skating?
Tutberidze began skating as a child in the late 1970s.
What type of figure skater was Eteri Tutberidze?
Tutberidze switched from singles to ice dancing after an injury early in her career and began being coached by Elena Tchaikovskaya and Vyacheslav Chichekin.
She skated competitively through the 1991-92 season before performing in ice shows with the Ice Capades.
Next came time with the Russian Ice Ballet, and with it a 36-city tour through the United States. After the first tour, Tutberidze wound up living in the United States.
When did Eteri Tutberidze start coaching?
Tutberidze started coaching while living in the United States with her daughter.
Tutberidze’s coaching career in Russia took off in the early 2010s. She joined Sambo 70 in 2014 and has been coaching at the Moscow-based club since.
Who is Eteri Tutberidze’s daughter?
Tutberidze’s daughter is Russian ice dancer Diana Davis.
Davis was born in the U.S. in 2003.
Davis and her figure skating partner Gleb Smolkin finished 14th in the rhythm dance at the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Where did Eteri Tutberidze live in the United States?
She lived in Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Oklahoma City, and San Antonio during her six years in the United States.
Did Eteri Tutberidze survive the Oklahoma City bombing?
According to the Insider report, Tutberidze’s name is one of 600 carved into the Survivor Wall in downtown Oklahoma City.
The wall, a granite memorial to the Oklahoma City terrorist bombing in 1995, is located in the original eastern corner of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. It holds the names of survivors of the event.
Tutberidze told Insider she was near the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building the day of the attack with a group of dancers from the Russian Ice Ballet. The group was at the Oklahoma City YMCA when the bombs went off April 19, 1995.
The terrorist attack killed at least 168 people.
On the Survivor Wall, her name is spelled Eteri Toutberdze.