SOCHI, Russia (AP) — President Vladimir Putin congratulated Adelina Sotnikova on Friday, hailing the 17-year-old Russian figure skater who "won and conquered."
Sotnikova became the first Russian or Soviet to win Olympic gold in women's figure skating on Thursday.
In a message published on the Kremlin's website, Putin said Sotnikova "won and conquered the height that our figure skating team has been working for long years ... the whole Russia is proud of you."
The president also issued an official congratulation for Sotnikova on Thursday night.
The Russians also won figure skating gold medals at the Sochi Olympics in team and pairs.
Sotnikova felt she deserved the gold medal because she did everything in her program. The judges agreed and she beat defending champions Yuna Kim of South Korea by nearly six points.
"When I finished skating," Sotnikova said of her free skate, "my first thought was I finally made it through what I had to do. I finished both my short and long programs well. I felt I showed the emotions and the feeling of the music. I didn't feel I done well at that before, but I did it very well at this competition."