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The League of Legends – and beyond

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It has taken some time to recover from the 2018 World Championship Standard in Vienna. It was such a magical night with many wonderful and memorable moments, big and small. The whole range of emotions were applied as the evening went on towards the decisive stages of the Championship.

Throughout the day it was clear which couple would be the favourite to many. Three-time World Champions Dmitry Zharkov and Olga Kulikova (RUS) were chasing for the fourth World title and were trying to stretch their winning streak (which has been running since August 2017) to new lengths. They cleared the quarterfinal with 4,58 points margin and the semifinal with 5,25 points margin to the Italians Francesco Galuppo – Debora Pacini.

As the final six were announced, Dmitry and Olga and Francesco and Debora were joined by two Lithuanian couples, Evaldas Sodeika – Ieva Zukauskaite and Vaidotas Lacitis – Veronika Golodneva, another Russian couple Evgeny Moshenin – Dana Spitsyna and a German couple Anton Skuratov – Alena Uehlin in the exciting final. Tango and Viennese Waltz were solo dances, Waltz, Slow Foxtrot and Quickstep were danced in a group.

The final started with Tango. Dmitry and Olga took a lead but the second place was tied in scores between Galuppo-Pacini and Sodeika-Zukauskaite. After Waltz the result was the same; the Russians were at lead with 78,63 points and the Italians and the Lithuanians were tied at 75,88 points. The third dance, Slow Foxtrot, shifted the second place for Sodeika-Zukauskaite, but only with a margin of 0,33 points. The rankings 4-6 started to look clear, as Moshenin-Spitsyna were strongly on the fourth place, Lacitis-Golodneva on the fifth and Skuratov-Uehlin on the sixth place.

Zharkov-Kulikova scored 39,50 for their Quickstep. They now had over 5 points lead towards the two couples competing for the second place, and they were close to confirming the fourth World Title. Sodeika-Zukauskaite scored 38,17 and Galuppo-Pacini 38,00, and the difference between these two couples shifted to 0,5 points. But it was not over yet for these two. Anything might have happened.

After the last dance of the final, solo Viennese Waltz, Dmitry and Olga received a standing ovation. They stayed on the dance floor, thanking the crowd longer than usual. Applause was continuing longer than ever. They knew what had just happened. As the scores were shown it became true. Dmitry and Olga had secured their fourth World Championship title, scoring the highest scores on the final, 39,542. They were looking proudly at each other. Dmitry took Olga to his arms and carried her off the dance floor.

And it was the Viennese Waltz which determined the second place for Evaldas and Ieva as they scored 0,25 points more than Francesco and Debora.

At the prize presentation ceremony while other couples were announced, Dmitry and Olga were holding hands, standing close and looking at each other, smiling and whispering. As the winners were announced and the evening was ending to an emotional Dance of Honour, many had tears in their eyes for what they had just been witnessing. A moment that will be remembered. A moment in history.

Dmitry and Olga wrote their names on the League of Legends, higher than anyone.

The Podium ©Reinhard Egli