The scandal associated with the unfair, in the opinion of many, refereeing at the performance of the Russian gymnast Dina Averina at the Tokyo Olympics erupted more than a month ago. Then, many representatives of the world of sports spoke on this topic, including the Olympic champion in rhythmic gymnastics Alina Kabaeva and the honored master of sports and repeated prize-winner of competitions in the same sport Laysan Utyasheva. The other day, the famous Russian figure skater, Olympic champion Irina Slutskaya unexpectedly remembered this scandal.
Slutskaya, 42, came across an article on the Internet about the relationship between Alina Kabaeva and Lyaysan Utyasheva and decided to share her opinion on this matter. Recall that the opinions of Alina and Laysan on the outcome of the rhythmic gymnastics competitions at the Tokyo Olympics diverged. Then Utyasheva publicly praised the representative of the Israeli national team Lina Ashram and said that she “snatched victory” from Dina Averina (Dina herself took second place at the Olympics). Alina, on the other hand, called the refereeing at the Olympics unfair and shameful and said that Laysan simply has no right to discuss this topic at all, because she herself did not win any significant awards.
Slutskaya expressed a similar opinion in her new post. She doubted Utyasheva's achievements in sports and stated that Laysan was entirely indebted to the rhythmic gymnastics coach Irina Viner-Usmanova for her professional successes.
To begin with, Laysan, unlike Alina, has never been a superstar in rhythmic gymnastics. Her highest achievement is the world champion in the team competition. She did not even qualify for the Olympic Games and never participated in them. And in the all-around, she has never been a champion of Russia, or a European champion, or a world champion. Therefore, it is definitely impossible to put her on a par with Kabaeva. These are different “weight categories”. All that she achieved – both the title of world champion in the team competition, where she performed with one of eight, and the title of Honored Master of Sports, which was presented to her for her birthday – these are all the merits not of her, but of her coach Irina Viner. This is reality. And, proceeding from this reality, it would be necessary to behave decently. And not be afraid to defend your family, your country. And it's not about sadness over the defeat of the Russian women, but outrage over injustice and anxiety for preserving the spirit of the Olympic movement. And in this case, it would be necessary to find the strength to stand up for these very values, and not wag your tail and not try to be a pleasant person for everyone in all respects. This is a manifestation of strength. As in sports,
– Slutskaya expressed her opinion.
Lyaysan Utyasheva in his youth
Laysan Utyasheva herself has not yet reacted in any way to the statement of Irina Slutskaya. But the followers in the comments under the skater's post have already managed to challenge her opinion. Someone did not understand why Irina in general now remembered this scandal, while others decided that the absence of Olympic medals in the piggy bank of personal achievements does not deprive Laysan of the right to express her own position, even if it is different from the opinion of the majority.
Irina Slutskaya during her sports career
Recall that after the end of the competition, the Russian Olympic Committee sent a request for refereeing to the leadership of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG). In mid-August, the organization checked and approved the results of the competition, as well as declared the correct and impartial work of the judges.
We confirm that the allocation of places in the Rhythmic Gymnastics Competitions at the Tokyo Olympic Games for individual and team performance is fair and unbiased. We set a high selection criterion for highly qualified and most impartial judges and are satisfied with their work at the Olympics.
Irina Viner-Usmanova, President of the All-Russian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation, expressed her outrage at the FIG response and said that she would make every effort to challenge the decision on judging at the Tokyo Olympics.
Dina Averina, Lina Ashram and Alina Gornosko