I think that’s supposed to happen. Well, not more than 160 (or whatever it is?) athletes from Russia with a flawless, according to the IOC, a reputation to think the same way. In December, when the winter deprived the team of the flag, in a society already there is a split: some were for abandoning Games, others for the trip. Now, in January, when athletes choose no one understood the principle, the theme of the refusal was raised again.
Photo: instagram.com / grafgafgaf
And now, the newsmakers of the day, when practically approved the members of OAR (the official name of the team from Russia), went to Olga Graf. Skater on the middle distance. The first, incidentally, the Russian medal of Sochi (it happened on February 9, 2014) stated the following: “As an athlete and as a citizen I negatively reacted to the decision of the IOC on the admission of Russia to the Olympic games under a neutral flag. However was ready to defend the honor of the country, even on these discriminatory and humiliating conditions. But at the end of January we learned that most athletes of our Olympic speed skating team will not be able to compete at the Olympics, and then all my hopes in the fight for the podium was not destined to come true due to the fact that the sport became pawns in dirty political games… Thanks for accepted me clean…»
In the same Olympic Sochi towards the end of the Games in Omsk skater with three of my team partners team brought to the country another bronze medal, this time in a team competition. It’s such a elimination race on the Olympic system, each team runs 6 laps, the fastest advances to the next round. Poland in the semifinals, then lost pretty much 2 seconds, but against a General situation in cross-country skate and third place was seen as a victory.
Especially since left on the memory of Sochi “tracks” with the interview, easily found and word Count, then said, in 2014, in the room under the stands, “Adler-Arena”: “Remember this year, this February. If the world was like at the Olympics, people would forget about the war. When I arrived in the Olympic village, everything was so beautiful and so kind. It’s on TV will not give!..»
Unfortunately, Olga was an idealist. She wanted to go to the Games again, knowing perfectly well that it takes years and its main chances again in the team race. She wanted to abolish total supremacy of the Netherlands at the oval. Well, since our national team skaters in recent days, considerably slash, the command, where should be 4 (one spare, but in different races possible rotation), not typed at all. The same trouble and in the biathlon, where the relays will have to forget. It’s as if Korea were allowed from Russia only 5 players… However, about the war the people for 4 years is not forgotten.
We can’t condemn Olga for the outcome of her decision? For what its example can be followed by other athletes? Probably not. She was well aware that it most likely could be the last in a career that in the days following the announced decision she has to listen to a lot of outright nastiness. Let’s face it. Yelena Isinbayeva was not allowed to play in Rio, and she became the heroine. Olga Graf has actually created the conditions when to go to Pyeongchang became meaningless. So let’s at least not make her a pariah!