Rafael Arutyunyan: “Not inclusion of Ilia Malinin into the Olympic national team shows flagrantly unprofessional approach”

Posted on 2022-01-10 • 22 comments


Rafael Arutyunyan criticized the decision not to include Ilia Malinin into the US national team for the Beijing Olympics.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by U.S. Figure Skating (@usfigureskating)

source: russian.rt.com photo: U.S. Figure Skating Instagram

Rafael Arutyunyan: To be honest, I don’t even have the words to describe how outraged I’m. That’s not because I worked with Ilia and did everything possible for him to achieve such a level of result. I have never been engaged in protectionism in relation to the athletes I work with, and even more so I’m not going to do it now. But Ilia placed second at the National Championships. Second!!! And with a gap. Yes, he’s young, he’s only 17, but he’s potentially the future of the country he lives in. With a Russian name and a Russian surname, but he’s American. In my opinion, the fact that he was not included in the Olympic team shows flagrantly unprofessional approach. We are told that this is how the rules are made. Well, change these rules, revise them. If the silver medalist of the last National Championships with three spots gets into the national team only as a substitute, then you need to find an opportunity to make an exception, whatever, but give the guy the opportunity to compete at the Games in Beijing, especially since with such points he could have claimed a medal.

I called one of the people in charge of the development of figure skating in America and asked how he will look into the eyes of this boy and his parents? What did this guy do wrong?

In addition, I called Ilia’s parents and said that I wanted to apologize to them for what happened on behalf of all American figure skating. I am really ashamed of this decision …

source: Elena Vaitsekhovskaya’s telegram channel


Related topics: , ,

22 Responses to “Rafael Arutyunyan: “Not inclusion of Ilia Malinin into the Olympic national team shows flagrantly unprofessional approach””

  1. Cherry says:

    For some reason, an upcoming ladies figure skater (Polina Edmunds, Bradie Tennell) is more likely to make the Olympic team than an up coming male skater. USFS is willing to take a risk in the ladies than the men.

  2. Charlotte Koerner says:

    I sympathize with Ilia’s situation. But, rules are rules.
    Djokovic had to leave Australia bec cause he was not vaccinated.
    Rules again.

  3. Tracy says:

    Putting Ilia on the Olympic team could result in a sweep of the medals, which is necessary for public support of the Olympic program. I am seeing excitement and chatter, about the young man, in the media that has not existed for years. We need that kind of excitement, if not only for the Olympic program, but also to lift spirits and encourage discourse about something other than the pandemic. Mr. Brown is an amazing athlete, but we all know that he cannot compete at the technical level necessary for a medal. I guess we need to consider whether honoring someone who has had his day is more important than letting the world know about the future of our program.

  4. Alisa says:

    That comment is completely hypocritical. Let’s not forget that
    Adam made it over Ross miner.. but that’s okay, because it was Rafs student. right?
    Also, this is not a decision of Usfigureskating. Ilia doesn’t have a short program technical score so he is not eligible to be on the Olympic team. That means, the he has not met the criteria to be eligible to compete at the Olympics according to the ISU. This rule has been set in place, it did not just become a rule to block a skater this year! That is an ISU requirement. And not only that but he will also have to achieve that minimum technical short program score before he can go to worlds. Please know the rules before commenting.

  5. Judith says:

    Somewhat fair point and at the time I strongly felt Ross earned his Olympic spot. That said, Ross and Ilia are two very different skaters. Ross was at the end of a fairly middling career. Ilia is at the beginning of what looks like it could be a superstar career. He already has tech content that only a handful of other guys in the world can match. The USA needs to encourage such a gem now. Nobody knows what will happen to him in three or four years.

  6. John Abreu says:

    If that happened in Russia, there will be a bunch of ‘critics’ saying “the system is corrupt” !!!

  7. Pat Bain says:

    I am sure this was a very hard choice to make.
    Ilia is outstanding obviously but he is missing the profile required right now.
    They are sending him to the Worlds with Jason as the alternate, a good choice.
    Jason did get to go to the Olympics but not in 2018.
    I love his artistic skating and will be happy to see him once again at the Olympics.
    Ilia will be our next spectacular champion.

  8. SkatingFanCa says:

    I wish either USFS or Jason Brown come to sense soon and have Jason withdraw before the Olympics, so that Ilia can compete. I mean Jason already has “Olympic Athlete” profile on his resume, what’s more value added this time? We all know he can’t be “Olympic Medalist”.

  9. Bonnie says:

    This decision is demoralizing to every young skater out there. Let this young man compete. This is wrong, It is embarrassing.

  10. Bonnie says:

    This decision is demoralizing to every young skater out there. Their careers are short at best. Let this young man compete. This is wrong, wrong, wrong. We are the land of opportunity right? It is embarrassing.

  11. Anna says:

    Raf seems to have forgotten 2018 Nationals.

  12. Sebastien says:

    He IS right this fédération is so corrupt

  13. Robbin Garza says:

    I feel really bad for Ilia. He should have automatically been sent.

  14. Deborah Ashworth says:

    I agree with Raf Arutyunyan! When will an athlete ever be condidered “good enough” to represent his country, if not from winning silver at Nationals?

  15. J says:

    It’s a travesty. Ilia should switch to Russia or come to Canada- we’ll gladly have him up north. Clearly the Americans do not appreciate the talent they have and would rather support a has-been without quads. What a waste!

  16. Carolina says:

    I love Raf, but I hate to say that in this case he is being a hypocrite. He has had at least 2 skaters make Olympic teams in exactly such a way by similar criteria.

  17. SkatingFanCa says:

    It’s a shame and US’s loss for not sending Ilia to Olympics. Glad that Raf has spoken out.

  18. Ceegee says:

    I love Raf but hate to say in this instance he is being a hypocrite, he has had at least 2 skaters advance to Olympic teams through very similar criteria/process.

  19. Calisteve says:

    I agree with Raf, but let’s remember Adam was 4th and was selected over the Silver medalist in 2018.

  20. John Abreu says:

    Rafael is a sniper, shooting here and there and in any direction to break the rules on his favor. I’m sorry for Ilia, but the rules are the rules. You don’t go to Las Vegas to ask Casinos to change the rules in your favor because you were … just about to win. Come on!

  21. Renate says:

    And….this is a brave and honest coach. He tells the truth and fights for his athlete. Professor Mishin does nothing for Liza.

  22. Renate says:

    Yes, this is shameless and not correct.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *