Tuğba Karademir, first Turkish figure skater, competes in Olympics

Tugba Karademir, who finished 12th at the European World Championships in January, skated to Bazaar Istanbul to a 21st place finish on February 24, good enough to qualify for a spot in the Free Program. This was Karademir’s second Olympics; she was the Turkish flag bearer in the 2006 games where she placed 21st overall. Battling a back injury, Karademir finished 24th out of 24 contestants in Ontario.

"That was the worst I’ve ever skated,” said Tugba Karademir of Turkey, who missed her first three jumps. “Although coming to the Olympics is awesome, I had my sights set very high this time so I am very disappointed.”

Karademir is the pioneer of Turkish figure skating, being the first Turk to compete in the Olympics. She began to train in 1990 when the first ice rank opened in Turkey. She has lived in Canada since 1996 to fully concentrate on her skating career.