‘Skate Island would be amazing’: Figure skating star Tuktamysheva says her sport should follow UFC’s Abu Dhabi concept

Russian figure skating star Elizaveta Tuktamysheva says she would back the idea of a UFC-style ‘Skate Island’ to bring together top-class talent on one island where they could compete during uncertain times.

In an interview with RT Sport, the former world and European figure skating champion talked about the upcoming season, her bombshell ‘striptease’ routine and the possibility of posing for men’s magazines, should the chance arise.

Since 2018 Tuktamysheva has been one of the most discussed female figure skaters after demonstrating her exhibition routine to Britney Spears’ hit ‘Toxic’ during which she took off her jacket to reveal a black bra underneath. The program made a splash in the figure skating community, triggering the so-called ‘stripping trend’ with many skaters attempting to mimic Tuktamysheva’s moves.

Elizaveta Tuktamysheva © Global Look Press / Naoki Nishimura



Talking about the criticism she faced from people who found the routine inappropriate, Tuktamysheva said she was ready for the backlash, admitting that the program was provocative.

I think this routine produced the desired effect because it triggered mixed reactions, including praise and criticism. I was ready to receive a backlash because, of course, this program was a provocation to a certain extent. But I really enjoyed it, I was riding high while performing it. If I have positive emotions I don’t care about criticism. I could understand those people who were negative about my performance because it was a little bit too much for them. But for me it was ok, the criticism didn’t affect me much,” she told RT Sport.

I’m thinking about a new exhibition program, but it’s unclear now whether we will have post-competition performances this season or not. Anyway, it would be immensely difficult to outshine the ‘Toxic’ routine,” the skater added.

Commenting on uncertainty surrounding the upcoming season the 23-year-old suggested that a separate competition similar to UFC’s Fight Island could be successful among figure skaters who miss international competitions. 

I would be interested in having a ‘Skate Island’, because I really miss competitions abroad, I miss the passion of performing,” the skater said. “If I knew that we would have a regular season I would calmly continue working on new programs. But this uncertainty over upcoming events really depresses me. If the ISU proposes to have a ‘Skate Island’, I would support it. Meeting all your friends on an island and having an opportunity to skate would be really cool.”

The 2015 world champion said she would consider offers to pose for men’s magazines, stressing that “a woman’s body is art” and that she was not afraid of being criticized by colleges.

I’m convinced that a woman’s body is very beautiful. A reveling photo session is an art, if it isn’t vulgar or filthy. I love pictures depicting beautiful women. Why should I worry simply because someone doesn’t support what I like? This is your life and you live it for yourself.

Of course, you should think about other people, but not allow them to impose their opinion. Nobody has offered for me to take part in any revealing photo shoots so far. If I had any offers you would have learnt about them already,” she said.

Talking about her future plans and possible job after her retirement, Tuktamysheva outlined that she hasn’t yet decided what to do while praising her colleagues Evgenia Medvedeva and Alena Kostornaia, who voiced plans of being a coach and brain surgeon respectively.

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Zhenya and Alena really amaze me, because they can clearly say what they want to do after retirement. I will never be able to answer this question due to my habit to change plans. One day I want to do this, the other day I’m focused on other things. I’m just going with the flow.

I don’t know maybe I will try to be a coach, maybe not. Honestly, I would love to have something not connected with figure skating, some hobby or job that would distract me from sport and bring money,” concluded Tuktamysheva.