Rafael Arutyunyan: “Not inclusion of Ilia Malinin into the Olympic national team shows flagrantly unprofessional approach”
Rafael Arutyunyan criticized the decision not to include Ilia Malinin into the US national team for the Beijing Olympics.
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
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