“My opinion is that we do not need to go to the Olympic Games without a flag and anthem. “I am not saying anything at all about the statement, it is total discrimination.”
These are the words that came out of the mouth of the director of the Russian Ski Racing Federation, Elena Vyalbe. And if we can completely agree with the second part, then the first part is most often expressed by people who are quite far from the sport, who simply want to include a couple of whists in the current agenda, expressing a seemingly patriotic position.
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In recent years, especially if we consider only winter sports, Russian skiers have been one of the main drivers of our sport. And Vyalbe was simply the head of the federation who sincerely supported her boys with all her heart at all the most important levels. It was in this sense that it was completely unexpected to hear those words from her.
Let us remember exactly how Vyalbe raised his hands to the sky, rejoicing at the victories of our skiers in Beijing. At that moment, it seemed that there was no happier person in this world than her. And we were also incredibly happy for our boys and, to be honest, Elena Valerievna too.
“You can’t imagine how happy I was about yesterday’s medal. How am I doing today in general? I am overwhelmed with emotions! I have never been as happy about my medals as I am about these guys in my life. “They are my children,” are his words after the victorious men’s relay at the Olympic Games. “I don’t know what to say. I’m so happy, Lord! – and this after Alexander Bolshunova’s third gold in the marathon.
Explain to me how a person who recently uttered those words is now speaking out in favor of skipping the main start for athletes. Have you really forgotten the incredible emotions that those dominant victories of our boys and girls in Beijing brought, even though they also performed without a flag or anthem? But did this prevent anyone from perceiving them as Russian athletes? Or maybe the rest of the world was wondering who are these guys with an incomprehensible abbreviation? No, everyone knew perfectly well that it was the Russian team.
“I just love them, that’s all. I don’t really accuse them of anything, I guess. When there is an opportunity to communicate, we communicate. When you need to pat them on the head, I will. When you need to scold, I will scold you. I don’t know if I’m a pet… That’s their job. Everyone did a tremendous job, simply titanic. This is a colossal job, this is a titanic daily job. That is why I wanted them to be rewarded,” here is another quote from Vyalbe.
And now it turns out that this time the work of his pupils and other Russian athletes, who also plow daily, should not be rewarded? I’d still like some consistency here. Why was it normal before without a flag or anthem, but not now?
“It is a humiliation to travel under a neutral flag.” The Russian world champion announced a boycott of the Olympic Games.
And in general, the very idea of a boycott is meaningless. If, on top of all the problems that have happened to our sport, we limit ourselves even more, we will only make things worse for ourselves. Without the Russian team, both the Olympic Games and the World Championship will be held successfully. This is already happening. But we ourselves will be several stops behind our competitors. And chances are, the next generation of athletes will have some catching up to do. And not even alone.