20 Years for ONE Day of Olympic Games
What a relief! A few days ago, the decision was made. Russian athletes who are clear from doping will go to Olympic Games 2018. It is still prohibited to represent Russia. However, athletes can participate in the most important competition in their life. Russia will not prevent them from going, and will sponsor their trip to Korea.
Many people asked my opinion about that situation. Does everybody use doping in sport? Is doping state-sponsored in Russia? How do I feel about this scandal?
I personally have never used doping and have never been forced by doctors or coaches to take doping. So I can’t say much about what is going on in other sports besides freestyle. Maybe I just was lucky, participating in mogul where doping can do nothing for improving jumps or skiing technique.
I feel very sad for Russian athletes! What a massive pressure they may experience right now! I can’t imagine. As an athlete, you spend many many years - 10, 15, 20 years of your life – for opportunity to participate in Olympic Games. It took me 24 years of training to reach that dream! Not every sport gives you a few chances. For some athletes this Games can be the only one opportunity. There are different age and health limits in every sport in addition to personal challenges and issues athletes have.
I wish there was no politics in sport. I stand for using sport as a power for bringing people together but not as an instrument for making distance. As athletes we compete on the slopes but we are still friends. I remember this great feeling of connection with others from various countries during our stay in Olympic Village. Mass media is also not making the situation easier by escalating it and putting more pressure on athletes. I hope athletes will utilize one of the skills they got from training and competitions - ability to overcome challenges.
I am full of joy that my teammates are going to Korea! I agree with Pierre de Coubertin (the founder of the modern Olympics) who said
The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.