– In my eyes, Russia is again strong, proud and successful. Not everyone in the world likes it, that’s clear.
Russia’s gold medalist from the Beijing Olympics, Veronika Stepanova, is said to have said this when she met President Vladimir Putin during this week’s ceremony, according to the TV channel. Pjervyj reproduced by VG.
Stepanova is one of the Russian heroes from this winter’s Beijing Olympics meeting with Putin.
Furthermore, Stepanova said something that could mean she was talking about the war in Ukraine.
– But we are on the right track, and we will definitely win, just like we won at the Olympics.
Udnes Weng: – A little surprising
The statement is now provoking a reaction from competitors Stepanova.
– This is a little surprising. It was quite far from what we saw from the outside. It’s hard to believe he came up with that opinion himself. He gets a slightly different picture of the situation than we get. They probably won’t see what we can see, said Udnes Weng to VG.
Sweden’s Maja Dahlqvist also reacted.
– I have seen the article that he has met Putin and praised him, I think it hurts, he said to SVT.
– Very important to the Kremlin
Russia is currently banned from international sports.
The senior adviser to the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, Aage Borchgrevink, believes it is no coincidence that Stepanova was invited to meet with Putin.
Sport is a central part of Putin’s liturgy, and of great importance to the Kremlin. It became clear that the state was investing heavily in sport, when a doping project to Russia was revealed in Sochi. Therefore, it’s no wonder he wanted to meet Stepanova, who also has a large young following on social media, a group that the Kremlin wants to reach, Borchgrevink told VG.
“Infuriatingly humble coffee guru. Travel practitioner. Freelance zombie fanatic. Certified problem solver. Food scholar. Student.”