January 31, 2023

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Putin’s praise is disgusting

OBERSTDORF/OSLO (Dagbladet): Russian figure skating president Jelena Valpi (54) gave her full support to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

– I think he must have won over 99% of women in Russia. When he speaks, many women listen. Very few women listen to other politicians, Valby tells Russia’s state-owned news agency RIA Novostireproduced before NRK.

The outspoken skating boss says she has complete faith in Putin, who is leading Russia into a war against Ukraine.

– All the years that Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin was elected president, I voted for him. I was his advisor. Therefore, I will not contradict, debate or even reflect on his decisions, because I trust him completely. And I think that’s absolutely true.

Välbe has not spoken out clearly about Putin after the war broke out, and says she believes many leaders are afraid to say what they think about politics, because it could harm athletes.

– This is correct. But it seems to me that everything is clear to everyone, and it is clear to the whole world that we are patriots, says Valbe.

response

NRK sports commentator Jan Petter Saltvedt reacts violently to Välbe’s statement:

It is completely reprehensible that a president across the country would make such remarks. None of the content surprised me, but she has kept a low profile since invading Ukraine so as not to provoke the international skating community, he tells NRK.

Together in 2014: Vladimir Putin and Yelena Valpi at the post-Sochi Olympics party.  Photo: www.kremlin.ru

Together in 2014: Vladimir Putin and Yelena Valpi at the post-Sochi Olympics party. Photo: www.kremlin.ru
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Cross-country skier Emil Iversen isn’t surprised by Valby’s move.

– We have a suspicion that there are quite a few Russians who support him, so it’s not a shock, Iversen tells Dagbladet.

– misunderstanding

Dagbladet spoke with Italy coach Markus Kramer during the Tour de Ski. The German, who coached Russia until the outbreak of war, believes that many people misunderstand athletes:

– I think that many people in Scandinavia and Central Europe have a wrong image of athletes from Russia. They know what’s going on, they know why they can’t compete and most of them, I’m not in contact with all of them, are against the war. They want world peace, not war. Kramer tells Dagbladet that they want to fight in the arena.

Athlete Support: Markus Kremer, here from Betostolen earlier this winter.  Photo: Bjørn Langsem/Dagbladet

Athlete Support: Markus Kremer, here from Betostolen earlier this winter. Photo: Bjørn Langsem/Dagbladet
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American cross-country runner Ben Ogden (22) is also in Oberstdorf. He was asked what he thought about banning Russian athletes from participating in the World Cup circus.

– I don’t know when the Russians should be allowed to compete again. I’m not a political person, but I like it when the Russians compete, because they beat the Norwegians and they fight very hard, but I don’t follow politics, Ogden answers Netavisen’s question and continues:

– Maybe it’s a good thing that they didn’t play this year because of the war, which is great, but I hope they come back soon, because I love them.

This is how I entered the men’s 10km classic in Oberstdorf on Tuesday:

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