Cross-country race director Pierre Minnierre is unsure if 25-year-old Alexander Bolshunov volunteered for president Vladimir Putin last Friday.
Last week, Alexander Bolshunov lined up On stage in the propaganda program of Vladimir Putin At the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, during the eighth anniversary of the annexation of Crimea.
“Everyone can get their opinions, but I hope Bolshunov will come back to compete,” Pierre Minnieri, FIS race director, told VG.
– What do you think of the pictures of Bolshunov with the Olympic gold medal around his neck in honor of a publicity show for Putin at the same time that millions of Ukrainians had to flee the bombing and many more were killed?
– I think we should be careful about responding too quickly. Minniere answers if he is there voluntarily, I don’t know.
Bolshunov became the Olympic King in Cross Country Stadium Beijing with five medals In February, three of them are gone.
Several sponsors chose to suspend cooperation with the Olympic winner after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, among them ski equipment supplier Rossignol and glove sponsor Kinetixx. Kinetixx Marketing Director Helmut Hanus shocked Because Bolshunov attended Putin’s show.
– He was crazy and stupid. I don’t have words. He has proven to be pro-Putin, which is totally unacceptable. We’re totally getting away from that,” Hanus told VG on Wednesday.
Rhetoric expert and associate professor at Christiania University College, Ketel Raknes, is not generous in covering the show that shone Bolshunov.
– This is a recent outbreak, Racknes told VG.
Bolshunov coach Yury Borodavko said in an interview with R Sport He is sure that all will be well with Bolshunov’s competition gear.
Minnery believes it is too early to pass judgment on Bolshunov’s existence to Putin.
– That’s complicated. There are big cultural differences from what we are used to and Russia. We don’t have the same background, says Minnieri, who is French, and continues:
– There are many factors here, they do not have complete freedom. We do not know what Russian practitioners can and cannot do. I hope the Cross Country World Cup is a place where we bring people together, not divide them.
Bolshunov received many privileges from Vladimir Putin. He and teammate Denis Spetsov got an apartment in Moscow after their efforts at the Beijing Olympics. He is part of Vladimir Putin’s National Guard, and after the Olympics, the 24-year-old became Promoted to captain After betting gold.
Bolshunov also posted several pro-Russian photos on social media, but they have since been deleted. The Russians were not allowed to go to the World Cup Finals in Holmenkollen and Fallon as a result of the Russian war in Ukraine. Bolshunov and his colleague in the national team Natalia Nebrizheva both raged.
It is up to the FIS board of directors whether to allow Russians to participate in international competitions.
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