Athletes react to dramatic conclusion to women’s figure skating at Olympics
After being cleared to compete amid doping allegations, Valieva placed fourth.
Former athletes reacted online to the results of the women’s individual figure skating event with sympathy for Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva and frustration with sports officials who allowed her to skate.
In an unexpected turn of events, 15-year-old Valieva placed fourth in the event which ended on Thursday after falling several times. Valieva was seen crying after her performance.
The event was overshadowed by controversy after Valieva tested positive for a banned drug in December ahead of the Russian Figure Skating Championships.
After ROC skater Anna Shcherbakova finished her routine, the USA team members seated in the arena got up and walked out, before Kamila Valieva took to the ice as the last skater of the event. according to ABC’s Alexandra Faul.
Shcherbakova won the gold medal, ROC skater Aleksandra Trusova won the silver medal and Japanese skater Kaori Sakamoto won the bronze medal.
Former figure skater and Olympic bronze medalist Ashley Wagner weighed in on Twitter, criticizing the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s decision to allow Valieva to skate in the event.
“It’s a moment where you really have to say – that poor kid. She should never have been put in that position. She shouldn’t have been on that ice, she shouldn’t have been put in a position where she became the face of a problem bigger than herself,” Wagner said in a Tweeter.
Wagner also expressed frustration Valieva becoming the center of attention of the whole event, overshadowing the other skaters.
Valieva, who was expected to win gold, became the first woman to land a quadruple jump at the Winter Olympics in this year’s team event. Medals for the team event have yet to be awarded, pending the results of an investigation which could lead to Valieva’s disqualification from the Olympics.
U.S. Olympian Polina Edmunds also expressed sympathy for Valieva.
“Very traumatic Olympic experience for Kamila Valieva. She should not have been allowed to compete, it’s devastating that she was put in this situation, at all levels,” Edmunds said on Twitter.
Edmunds also criticized the judging system and coaches for their “abuse” of athletes.
“If you’re mad at someone, be mad at the judging system. They’re the ones who caused all of this. Be mad at the coaching teams that prioritize medals over health , not to whole countries. There are a lot of clean athletes who have also suffered from the monopoly of this team,” Edmunds said in another Tweeter.
In one video he posted On Twitter, two-time Olympian figure skater and NBC Olympic analyst Johnny Weir called the event heartbreaking.
“It was the most bizarre and heartbreaking event I have seen in my entire life and I hope it never happens again,” Weir said.
Former American figure skater Adam Rippon also weighed in, Tweeter “What does *&$ show omg.”