Laura Lepistö

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Laura Lepistö
Laura Lepisto at 2009 Skate Canada (1).jpg
Lepistö at 2009 Skate Canada.
Personal information
Full name Laura Lepistö
Country represented Finland
Born (1988-04-25) 25 April 1988 (age 27)
Height 1.64 m (5 ft 4 12 in)
Coach Virpi Horttana
Choreographer Maria McLean
Miia Nirhamo
Skating club Espoon Jäätaiturit
Began skating 1992
Retired March 2012
ISU personal best scores
Combined total 187.97
2010 Winter Olympics
Short program 64.30
2010 Worlds
Free skate 126.61
2010 Winter Olympics

Laura Anneli Lepistö (born 25 April 1988) is a Finnish former figure skater. She is the 2010 World bronze medalist, the 2009 European Champion and 2008 and 2010 Finnish national champion.

After missing two seasons with various injuries, Lepistö announced in March 2012 that she would not return to competitive skating.

Personal life[edit]

Lepistö was born in Espoo, Finland.

In September 2010, Lepistö started her higher education studies in the Aalto University School of Economics in Helsinki, Finland. She stated, however, that she would continue to focus on skating for years to come.[1]


Lepistö started skating at the age of four, following her older sister's lead.[2] She has trained in Espoo and Vierumäki in Finland, Boston in the United States, and Tallinn and Tartu in Estonia.[2][3]

Early career[edit]

Lepistö at the 2010 European Championships.

In the 2002–2003 season, Lepistö won the silver medal on the junior level at the Gardena Spring Trophy and the junior gold medal at the Warsaw Cup. She won the gold medal on the junior level at the 2003 Finnish Championships.

In the 2003–2004 season, Lepistö debuted on the ISU Junior Grand Prix circuit. She placed 12th at the 2003–2004 ISU Junior Grand Prix event in Bulgaria and 8th at the event in Croatia. She placed 5th on the junior level at the 2004 Finnish Championships and won the bronze medal on the junior level at the 2004 Nordic Championships.

In the 2004–2005 season, she competed on the Junior Grand Prix circuit. She won the event in Belgrade and placed 9th at the event in Romania. She then won the junior national title at the 2005 Finnish Championships and the silver medal on the junior level at the 2005 Nordic Championships.

In the 2005–2006 season, she competed on the Junior Grand Prix circuit. She won the bronze medal at the event in Andorra and placed 4th in the event in Bulgaria. She placed 4th in her senior national debut at the 2006 Finnish Championships, and then won another junior silver medal at the 2006 Nordic Championships. She went on to make her World Junior debut, placing 9th.

During the 2006–2007 season, she competed at one event on the Junior Grand Prix series, finishing 5th at the event in Slovakia. She then missed much of the season due to injury, having developed a stress fracture in her right hip as a result of practicing too many triple loops.[2] She came back to compete at the senior 2007 Finnish Championships, where she won the silver medal. She won the senior silver medal at the 2007 Nordic Championships. She competed at the 2007 Junior Worlds, where she placed 7th.

Senior career[edit]

Lepistö at the 2010 European Championships.
Lepistö during her short program at the 2007 Nebelhorn Trophy.

In the 2007–2008 season, Lepistö began competing entirely on the senior level. She won the bronze medal at the 2007 Nebelhorn Trophy and placed 4th at the 2007 Finlandia Trophy. She then debuted on the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating circuit. At her first event, the 2007 Skate Canada International, she won the short program but dropped to 7th overall after the free skate. She placed 5th in her second event, the 2007 NHK Trophy. Lepistö won the 2008 Finnish Championships and went on to the 2008 European Championships where, competing there for the first time, she won the bronze medal.[2] She then placed 8th in her World Championship debut.

In the 2008–2009 season, Lepistö won the silver medals at the 2008 Nebelhorn Trophy and the 2008 Finlandia Trophy. She won the bronze medal at the 2008 Cup of China and was 5th at the 2008 NHK Trophy. At the 2009 Finnish Championships, she won the silver medal. She went on to the 2009 European Championships, where she won the title. She was the first Finn to win the ladies single's title, and second overall after Susanna Rahkamo and Petri Kokko's 1995 ice dancing title.[4] It was also the first time Finns took two spots on the European podium as Susanna Pöykiö won bronze in the event.[4]

Lepistö finished 6th in her second World Championship appearance.

Lepistö's assigned events for the 2009–10 Grand Prix series were the NHK Trophy, where she again finished fifth, the Skate Canada, where she was the bronze medalist. She won back her national title, but was unable to defend her European title, finishing second behind Carolina Kostner. Lepisto finished 6th at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, the best result by a European lady at the event. In March 2010, she won the bronze medal at the World Championships in Turin, becoming the first Finnish ladies single skater to win a World Championship medal.[5]

Injuries and retirement[edit]

For the 2010–2011 Grand Prix season, Lepistö was assigned to Skate Canada and Skate America, but had to withdraw from both events due to an Achilles tendon injury.[6] She also missed the European Championships but recovered in time to train for the 2011 World Championships. However, she suffered a back injury in early March, causing her to withdraw from the event.[7] She said, "I fell on my lower back at full speed when the blades of my skates caught together. The heavy bump has led to a situation where my back has kept locking up."[6] Lepistö was back in full training in June 2011 and landed a new sponsor, KPMG.[8] She was assigned to 2011 Skate America and 2011 Trophee Eric Bompard for the Grand Prix season. However, by July when she was training in Toronto with Brian Orser, pain in her foot grew so severe she could not put on her skates.[9] She said, "There is repeated stress to the same landing foot and this time one of the nerves in my foot was provoked and it became very painful."[9] She was able to return to training in mid-August with a pair of custom-made skates,[9] but her injury problems continued.[10] Lepistö withdrew from both Grand Prix events. In November, she said she was unable to wear skates for more than 15 minutes due to the nerve problem and would miss the entire season to allow her leg to heal fully.[11] Lepistö was invited by Champions on Ice to skate in the 21st annual Paektusan Festival in North Korea in February 2012 which was used to honor the memory of Kim Jong-il.[12][13][14] After receiving permission from Finland's Ministry of Education and Culture, she performed in the event, along with other elite skaters, but later issued an apology.[12]

On 25 March 2012, Lepistö announced that she had decided to retire from competitive skating, stating that she no longer felt the same passion for skating as she had done in the past.[15][16][17]


Lepistö performs a catch foot layback spin at the 2008 NHK Trophy.
Season Short program Free skating Exhibition
2010–2011 Did not compete
  • Ballad
    (from 'Klaani')
    by Päivi Portaankorva

Competitive results[edit]

Lepistö (right) on the podium at the 2010 World Championships.
Lepistö (center) on the podium at the 2009 European Championships.
Event 2002–03 2003–04 2004–05 2005–06 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09 2009–10
Olympics 6th
Worlds 8th 6th 3rd
Europeans 3rd 1st 2nd
GP Cup of China 3rd
GP NHK Trophy 5th 5th 5th
GP Skate America
GP Skate Canada 7th 3rd
Finlandia 4th 2nd 2nd
Nebelhorn 3rd 2nd
Nordics 3rd J. 2nd J. 2nd J. 2nd J. 2nd
International: Junior
Junior Worlds 9th 7th
JGP Andorra 3rd
JGP Bulgaria 12th 4th
JGP Croatia 8th
JGP Romania 9th
JGP Serbia 1st
JGP Czech Republic 5th
Warsaw Cup 1st J. 1st J.
Gardena Spring 2nd J.
Finnish Champ. 1st J. 5th J. 1st J. 4th 2nd 1st 2nd 1st
Team events
Japan Open 1T / 2P
GP = Grand Prix; JGP = Junior Grand Prix; J. = Junior level
T = Team result; P = Personal result; Medals awarded for team result only.


  1. ^ (Dead link)
  2. ^ a b c d Mittan, Barry (10 February 2008). "Flying Finn". Retrieved 11 March 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Laura Lepistö: 2009/2010". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on 4 May 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "Laura Lepistö wins European title in front of ecstatic home audience". Helsingin Sanomat. 26 January 2009. Retrieved 29 March 2011. 
  5. ^ "Laura Lepistö wins bronze at World Figure Skating Championships in Torino". Helsingin Sanomat. 29 March 2010. Retrieved 29 March 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "Laura Lepistö unable to participate in World Championships in Japan after all". Helsingin Sanomat. 8 March 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2011. 
  7. ^ "Lepistö to Miss World Championships". YLE. 7 March 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2011. 
  8. ^ Jokinen, Leena (9 June 2011). "Laura Lepistö harjoittelee jälleen" [Laura Lepistö back in training] (in Finnish). Ilta-Sanomat. Retrieved 9 June 2011. 
  9. ^ a b c d Paasonen, Elina (9 November 2011). "Laura Lepistö: Overcoming Injuries". IFS Magazine. Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  10. ^ "Lepistö puhkesi kyyneliin – tiedotustilaisuus keskeytyi" [Lepisto burst into tears] (in Finnish). MTV3. 3 October 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2011. 
  11. ^ "Lepistön kausi ohi – uran jatko vaakalaudalla" [Lepistö's season over and continuation of career at stake]. YLE (in Finnish). 9 November 2011. Retrieved 9 November 2011. 
  12. ^ a b "Figure skater Laura Lepistö regrets the distress her trip to North Korea may have caused". Helsingin Sanomat (International Edition). 21 February 2012. 
  13. ^ Tuohinen, Petteri (18 February 2012). "Pohjois-Korea ylisti luistelijoita". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). 
  14. ^ Mäkinen, Esa (24 February 2012). "Lepistön luistelunäytöksessä luvattiin kuolla Kimin puolesta". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). 
  15. ^ Rutherford, Lynn (25 March 2012). "Lepisto announces retirement from competition". Ice Network. 
  16. ^ "Lepistö: En ole löytänyt enää intohimoa" [Laura Lepisto: I have not found more passion]. YLE (in Finnish). 25 March 2012. 
  17. ^ "Laura Lepistö lopettaa uransa" [Laura Lepistö ends her career]. Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). 25 March 2012. 
  18. ^ "Laura Lepistö: 2011/2012". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on 15 October 2012. 
  19. ^ "Laura Lepistö: 2008/2009". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on 30 June 2009. 
  20. ^ "Laura Lepistö: 2007/2008". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on 11 June 2008. 
  21. ^ "Laura Lepistö: 2006/2007". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on 1 July 2007. 
  22. ^ "Laura Lepistö: 2005/2006". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on 16 August 2006. 
  23. ^ "Laura Lepistö: 2004/2005". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on 8 March 2005. 
  24. ^ "Competition Results: Laura LEPISTÖ". International Skating Union. 

External links[edit]