Russian choreographer blasts neutral flag at Olympics as disgrace

Alexey Zheleznyakov
Alexey Zheleznyakov

Russian figure skating choreographer Alexei Zheleznyakov expressed strong disapproval of Russian athletes competing under a neutral flag at the upcoming Paris Olympics, in an interview with Metaratings on April 25.

Zheleznyakov called Russian athletes who agree to compete at 2024 Games in a “neutral status” bums.

“I don't wear rose-colored glasses in this regard," Zheleznyakov stated. "We don't need any handouts, did we find ourselves in a dumpster or what? To perform without an anthem and flag is just humiliation."

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His comments reflect a broader sentiment among some Russian sports figures who view competing without national symbols as a degradation of their national identity. Zheleznyakov further explained his viewpoint, suggesting that athletes who grew up and were trained in Russia, benefiting from the investment of their parents and coaches, should not settle for competing without their country’s symbols. "If you were born in Russia... and you go to play under a neutral flag, then you are a sport bum," he remarked.

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The Paris Olympics are scheduled to run from July 26 to August 11. This debate comes after it was reported that a six-time Russian champion was expelled from the national team. Interestingly, Zheleznyakov hinted that Russia might have found an "alternative" to the Olympic Games, though details of what this entails were not disclosed in the interview.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine