A year ago, Irina Slutskaya could not get on the ice without feeling depressed. She lacked motivation, and practice sessions often ended in tears.
Yesterday in Lyon, France, the Russian shrugged off last year's emotions and upset Michelle Kwan in the International Skating Union's Grand Prix final.
Slutskaya performed a jump combination that never had been successfully completed by a woman.
Yevgeny Pluschenko won the men's event.
Kwan, the Olympic silver medalist and two-time world champion, also put in a good effort, but had to be content with second in the face of Slutskaya's audacious jumping and rare 6.0 mark for technical merit.
Slutskaya, who failed to make the Russian team last year after winning two European titles, became the first woman to do a triple lutz-triple loop combination. Seconds later, she added a triple salchow-triple loop. Later, she had a triple toe loop-double toe loop combination, finishing with seven triples overall.
For her routine to music from the "Don Quixote" ballet, she earned marks of 5.9 and 5.8 with a rare 6.0 for technical merit from the French judge.
Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat, skating in their hometown, took the ice dance event, leading from start to finish. China's Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo won the pairs event for the second consecutive year.
MEN'S DOWNHILL: Austrian Josef Strobl beat Hermain Maier and won the Lauberhorn World Cup men's downhill in Wengen, Switzerland.
"It's always a stroke of luck when you win on this course," said Strobl, who tamed one of the world's toughest layouts with a run of 2 minutes 29.17 seconds.
WOMEN'S ALPINE: Corinne Rey Bellett blitzed down the course in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Austria, in 1 minute 34.47 seconds to win the World Cup downhill. Germany's Regina Haeusl finished second in 1:34.62, followed by teammate Martina Ertl in 1:35.11.
SNOWBOARDING: Kentaro Miyawaki, a 21-year-old Japanese, got his first World Cup victory by stunning the favorites in a halfpipe event in Berchtesgaden, Germany. Miyawaki earned 42.4 points to beat the world champion, American Rick Bower, who had 40.8.
BIATHLON: Ricco Gross of Germany won his second consecutive World Cup event, a 10-kilometer race in Ruhpolding, Germany. Italy's Nathalie Santer won the women's 7.5K race.