Anna Shcherbakova will remain active despite being sidelined by injury
Olympic figure skating champion Anna Shcherbakova will not stray from Russian TV screens even as she recovers from surgery, after it was revealed that the teenage star will be among the presenters of a popular show.
Shcherbakova, 18, underwent an operation in Germany last month to fix what she said was a lingering knee injury.
The Beijing 2022 gold medalist has since returned to the ice to begin her recovery but will not be up to speed in time for a series of Grand Prix events held in Russia over the next three months.
In her absence from competition, Shcherbakova will be trying her hand at presenting duties on popular TV show 'Ice Age', which sees professional skaters join up with celebrities to perform routines as part of a team competition.
Shcherbakova will be one of the show's interviewers and joins the likes of fellow Olympic champions Alina Zagitova and Alexey Yagudin by taking up the microphone.
Filming for part of the series has already been completed, with Shcherbakova sharing photos of herself alongside 2018 Olympic queen Zagitova and 2002 men's gold medalist Yagudin.
Shcherbakova assured fans that the career change did not signal that she was hanging up her skates from professional competition.
"Now the recovery is going as planned, at the moment I can't put a load on my left leg. But I'm training smoothly, I'm doing it even as part of the healthy group," said the 2021 world champion.
"I'm remembering double jumps, just a little bit, we try not to rush things so that the treatment was not in vain."
Former ice dance world champion Ilia Averbukh is one of two team captains on the 'Ice Age' show, and said he had the idea of proposing a presenting gig for Shcherbakova.
"Anna worked with me more than once during the summer in Sochi," Averbukh told reporters.
"I heard from her that she was not ready to skate on 'Ice Age' yet, but if there was an opportunity to present, it would be great.
"I suggested this idea to her. And Anna is here."
Along with fellow teenage Russian figure skating stars Kamila Valieva and Alexandra Trusova, Shcherbakova enjoys a large fan following outside her homeland - not least in China.
Shcherbakova regularly displays the fan mail and gifts she receives from her Asian admirers, and recently revealed that she was working on a project for Chinese TV.
Shcherbakova and her fellow Russian skaters continue to keep busy despite being banned from all international competitions by governing body the ISU because of the conflict in Ukraine.
Russian skating officials have compensated for the suspension by organizing a series of six of their own Grand Prix tournaments, before the Russian National Championships in December and the Grand Prix Finals next March.