A Russian wrestler was enraged by the ban on competing at the Olympics without the Russian flag. He attacked the national team coach
Russian freestyle wrestler Artur Nayfonov was outraged by the harassment in the aggressor country of athletes who agree to compete in the 2024 Olympics in a neutral status. The Tokyo 2020 Games medalist noted that every athlete works for their career and dreams, which are now being taken away from them.
Naifanov said this in an interview with Championship.com. In particular, the wrestler reacted sharply to the words of Irina Viner, President of the All-Russian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation and coach of the national team, who called it a disgrace to participate in the Olympics under the current conditions of Russians' admission to the tournament.
"We put in so much work for someone to take away our dream? I'm all for any opportunity to prove myself. We also performed in Tokyo without the Russian flag. And everyone knew who we were and where we came from. It was no secret that we were Russians. We were not "homeless" either, everyone knew us by sight. I think we have to leave. Unfortunately, we are now being put in such a framework, but there is no other option. After all, we train every day of our lives and do not give it all up for nothing. We need to realize this opportunity," Nayfonov said.
On December 8, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) allowed Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in the 2024 Olympics in neutral status. However, this applies only to individual events, and the athletes themselves must meet certain criteria. In response, swimmer Yevgeny Rylov refused to travel to Paris, and the rhythmic gymnastics team announced a boycott of the tournament in its entirety.
As OBOZ.UA previously reported, Russian skier Anastasia Faleeva was criticized for "thinking" of competing at the Olympics under a neutral flag. Yelena Välbe also called athletes with similar initiatives traitors.