Lipnitskaya was born on June 5, 1998—a year I’m pretty sure even my baby sister has crystalline memories of—and she qualified for the Olympics with less than a month to spare: to make the cut, you have to turn 15 by July 1st of the year before the Olympics start, which Yulia hit in June, 2013. Now that she’s broken a record, her age is quantified not just in years but in days: 15 years and 249 days. That’s just six days fewer than the similarly-named Tara Lipinski had to her name when she set the old record in Nagano in—wait for it—1998. It’s almost reminiscent of the way children calculate their ages. Time goes slower for them and age enforces a hierarchy, so every month, every day counts.
Today, VKontakte, Russia’s version of Facebook, confirmed the authenticity ofan account that had for days been attributed to Lipnitskaya. Take one look at it and contrast it with the thing she’s accomplished, and you feel like you’re looking at a Lolita, a girl whose user pic is of a white teddy bear in a red shirt but who runs with the adults.
Read More | “Sure, Yulia Lipnitskaya is an Amazing Skater, But She Is Also a Child” | Julia Ioffe | New Republic