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Kamila Valieva (Photo: Twitter/Olympic Russia)
Kamila Valieva (Photo: Twitter/Olympic Russia)

Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics: IOC President was 'very disturbed' after seeing Kamila Valieva performance in free skate

ANI | Updated: Feb 18, 2022 10:33 IST

Beijing [China], February 18 (ANI): International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach on Friday said he was very disturbed after watching the performance of the Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva in the women's free skate at the ongoing Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics in which the 15-year-old fell several times.
Short program leader Kamila Valieva stumbled in her free skate, finishing in fourth place overall. Valieva struggled to stay upright on a quad Salchow and triple Axel to open her program, then fell on the back end of a quad toe-triple Salchow combination. She was fifth in the free skate, totalling 224.09 - 10 points shy of the podium.
The results of Valieva are provisional since there are pending proceedings with regard to the results of an anti-doping test of the athlete.
"I must say I was very disturbed yesterday when I watched the competition on TV. In her performance how high the pressure on her must have been. And I know from my time as an athlete, a little bit about the pressure. But this pressure is beyond my imagination. And particularly for the girl of 15-year-old to see her struggling on ice, seeing how she try to compose herself and trying to finish her program," Thomas Bach said during the press conference on Friday.
"You could feel in every moment and body language that this is an immense immense mental stress and that maybe you know she would have preferred just to leave the ice and try to leave this story behind her."

"But this was not all, When I afterward saw how she was received by her closest entourage with what appeared to be a tremendous coldness. It was chilling to see this rather than giving her comfort and trying to help her. You could feel this chilling atmosphere. This distance and if you were interpreting this body language of them it got even worse and some kind of dismissive gesture," IOC President added.
"All this doesn't give me much confidence of Kamila's closest entourage. Neither with regard to what happened in the past nor as far as it concerns the future," he pointed.
Valieva has earlier starred in Russian Olympic Committee's (ROC) victory in the team event in Beijing on February 7.
World champion figure skater Anna Shcherbakova of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) clinched the women's gold medal. Shcherbakova turned in a sterling performance in the women's free skate on Thursday inside the Capital Indoor Stadium, skating to a personal best score of 175.75 to total 255.95, leaping to first place and capturing the gold medal.
Training mate Alexandra Trusova won silver with 251.73 total, while Sakamoto Kaori of Japan claimed the bronze medal, scoring 233.13. (ANI)