Lipnitskaia hangs up skates at 19 after battling anorexia

AP

Russian figure skater Julia Lipnitskaia has retired at the age of 19 following a battle with anorexia.

Lipnitskaia’s mother, Daniela, told Russia’s Tass news agency on Monday that her daughter informed Russian skating officials of her retirement in April following three months of treatment for anorexia.

Lipnitskaia won gold in the team event at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi when she was 15, becoming the youngest Olympic skating champion since the 1998 Nagano Games, when Tara Lipinski, then 15, captured the women’s title.

However, she missed the medals in the individual competition, where she had been considered a potential champion.

Lipnitskaia bounced back with silver at the world championships in April 2014, which was her last major event.

She became a symbol of the Sochi Olympics for many Russians, especially after President Vladimir Putin praised her performances.

But she struggled to cope with fame.

She complained in November 2014 that she had lost her freedom and felt “constant stress” when trying to live up to her fans’ expectations.