The story of Sofa Samodelkina is actually a story about how an incredibly interesting and promising athlete (perhaps one of the most promising in the world in the light of the Olympic Games in Milan) turned out to be useless.

Let me remind you that the girl renounced her Russian citizenship, having received a passport of the Republic of Kazakhstan for family reasons, and since April, as a foreign figure skater, she paid for everything on her own, including coaching services and ice rental at CSKA.

It's expensive. Very much. Since the army club imposes a number of fairly strict rules on sports schools, it is more difficult to study in it, having foreign citizenship, than anywhere else. I think this explains the fact that there are not so many athletes from abroad in principle. But the Samodelkin family went to these expenses.

After a rather tough phase of last year's puberty, Sofa began to restore her condition, and although some physical parameters are still not ideal, she jumped the quadruple Salchow again, performs her signature Lutz-Rittberger cascade in training and is very close to resuscitation of the triple axel.

Having such a skater in the group, any coach, it would seem, should be extremely interested in resolving the issue of her sports citizenship as soon as possible and getting a release from the Russian Figure Skating Federation - at least in order to get the opportunity to go to international competitions himself. In other words, to remain in the cage of a really big sport.

The release in this case is an absolute formality: in no case will it be possible to return the skater to Russia, since all bridges have been burned. Whether it was reasonable to act in this way or not is a completely separate issue, which does not make sense to discuss now.

I don't know what promises Samodelkina made to her former coach Svetlana Sokolovskaya at the stage of Sofa's transition from Sergey Davydov, but she obviously did not want to fit into the history of citizenship. Perhaps out of a banal sense of caution and unwillingness to spoil relations with the leadership of the FFKR.

Although with the same probability, the mentor could lose interest in the athlete when she realized that she could not cope with the task of leading the girl through puberty. And as soon as it became known in the group that the skater was looking for options with training, possibly in another country, and the coach who was more interested in her was simply kicked out of the group. So, at least, the source described the situation, before whose eyes the whole plot unfolded.

The official interpretation of Sokolovskaya sounds different: "Sophia's transition has nothing to do with the training process. She practiced well, gradually coping with her puberty. Sophia made an excellent choice by moving to the headquarters of Yevgeny Plushenko, "the mentor said in an interview with TASS.

If a strong athlete leaves the group, and the coach calls this decision an excellent choice, the thought involuntarily suggests itself that the person himself veiledly admits his own professional insolvency. Or he has no time for a problem athlete at all. And this can be explained by a number of serious reasons.

Sokolovskaya, by the way, in the current situation is definitely not to be envied: from her, in addition to Samodelkina, the vice-champion of the Games in Beijing Alexandra Trusova left, the current champion of the country in jumping Grigory Fedorov last season almost convinced the audience that he has a good command of the only quadruple jump - Lutz, and jumps the toe loop intermittently, but now the athlete does not confirm even this.

So it turns out: the specialist, who a year ago confidently predicted a place in the coaching elite of the country, turned out to be, albeit not at a broken trough, but in much less stable positions than she was before the Olympic Games in Beijing. Well, is there any Samodelkina here at all?

I fully admit that Sokolovskaya, like many of the leaders of the Russian figure skating federation, reasoned simply: why force the situation if in December the athlete is likely to receive a long-awaited release and will be able to start playing for another country?

Theoretically, this certainly has logic. But in practice it looks different. Staying at CSKA, Sofa really had to pay huge amounts of money for ice and training. Perhaps the financial situation was becoming more and more critical for the family, while no one gave any guarantees from the FFKR to the athlete, of course. As well as intelligible information regarding the sporting future. So is it any wonder that the skater and her family began to look for a way to solve the problem on their own?

It's time to ask the question: what is the FFKR guided by, slowing down the release, which, if desired, could have been issued in early September? Perhaps, from the point of view of the federation in the current situation, which is not the easiest for the country, the most correct is the principle: "So don't get you to anyone!"

In my opinion, the position is rather dubious. Even in terms of her own image, in relation to a particular case, it is much more reasonable to emphasize: Samodelkina is our athlete, she was trained by Russian coaches, who, despite everything that is happening now in the sports community, remain the coolest specialists in the world.

I admit that there could be financial considerations: not to consider the case of an athlete until she pays everything that was ever spent on her. But this is also a dubious point. As a member of the national team, Sofa fulfilled all her obligations: she trained, competed for the club, city, country, and so on. At the same time, providing her with equipment, suits, medical care and other things was not goodwill, but the duty of sports structures. As soon as the athlete was taken out of the national team and CSKA, contractual obligations on both sides should automatically be considered completed.

In other words, this is never the case of Davis / Smolkin, who migrated from one flag to another, but compensation to former employers was paid after the fact and on their own initiative.

Well, yes, formally, we can say that the "thieves" (in the words of Gleb Smolkin) pair did not compete for a whole year and do not owe anything to Russia. Well, in the case of Samodelkina, we have a similar situation: the last international start was at Sofa at the end of October 2021 at the Denis Ten Memorial. And in December, the skater was withdrawn from the national team, stopping paying scholarships and providing equipment.

There is, of course, another option: after the odious transition of the above-mentioned dance couple under the Georgian flag, the leaders of the FFKR simply received instructions "from above": not to let any athlete go to other countries, regardless of the form in which they perform and under whose leadership they train.

If we assume such a situation, at least, many of the actions of the federation become clear. For example, in relation to Dario Cirisano.

But the paradox is that here Samodelkina is a separate and very casual line. Having renounced Russian citizenship on her own initiative and received a passport of the Republic of Kazakhstan, she seemed to have fallen out of the established system. That's why I found myself in a vacuum.

Well, now only manual control can get the situation off the ground. Unless, of course, there is a person who, behind all this heap of absurdity, will be able to see the main thing: a girl who really wants to ride. After all, there is simply nothing else in Samodelkina's life yet.