The world of figure skating without Russia, the dominant country

Olympic champion and Russian figure skating world champion Anna Shelvakova (here the Beijing Olympic Games on February 20) will not defend her world crown at Montpellier.

Can you imagine a world basketball championship without Americans? Or is it the Rugby World Cup without the New Zealand All Blacks? These competitions will inevitably have different dimensions and tastes. But this is what happens in figure skating, and the World Championships in Montpellier from March 23-27 must be done without Russia, the dominant country of the sport.

Anna Shelvakova, Anastasia Mishina Alexander Galliamov, and ice dancers Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov will all be world champions.They were declared persona non grata “It has an immediate effect and will be notified later” According to the International Skating Union (ISU). Like any other Russian counterpart.

This decision was made in response to the invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 24. Minsk’s support for the Kremlin is that Belarusian skaters and skaters suffer the same fate.

“There is an envisioned decision that must be made. It’s not as black and white as you might think, it’s complicated, but it’s our responsibility. Today we’re given it, so we have to take it. Hmm.”Declares that Nathalie Pechalat, President of the French Federation of Ice Sports (FFSG), will greet her about this expulsion. “From a federal and individual standpoint.”

Athletes, “chessboard pawns”

However, former ice dancers recognize that the lack of Russian skaters in Montpellier does not mean that the level of competition and the show are not unaffected. A glance at the winners of the previous edition is enough to take action. In Stockholm in 2021, Russians competing under a neutral flag (Russia excluded from international competitions due to institutionalized doping) were ubiquitous on the podium.

Same observation at the Winter Olympics (OG) in Beijing in February: Five medals, including one of gold, added to the controversial ceremonial occasion at a team event, regarding the fate of the Court of Arbitration for Sport The judgment has been put on hold. A 15-year-old genius, Camilla Barrieva, who tested positive for banned substances a few weeks before snow and ice sports became popular.

“For us, the general public [leur absence] Harmful due to lack of performance of Russian athletesReacted to Nathalie Péchala before the world. This is ultimately the responsibility of Vladimir Putin’s psychology and the sporting movement in what we know, recently or not recently. »»

As soon as he arrived at the head of the country in 2000, the Kremlin’s influential people turned sports into a “soft power” weapon. “To improve the image of his image and his power”Reminded me world Lucas Orbin, a sports geopolitical scholar at the Institute for International Strategic Relations (IRIS) Sportokratura under Vladimir Putin: Geopolitics of Russian Sports (Breal, 2021).

Read again: Articles reserved for subscribers “Under Putin, sports are political in nature.”

Since the first conflict in Crimean in 2014 and the subsequent doping incident, this strategy has already begun to stagnate, and the country is now more easily associated with sulfur incidents than athlete performance. The “Varieva Incident” at the Beijing Olympics showed this again.

Athletes are not only victims of the system “Chessboard pawn”Nathalie Pechalat, who spent three years in the country during her sports career, claims.

Read again: Eteri Tutberidze, a sulfur-rich Russian skate coach

The fate of Ukrainian athletes in suspense

The exclusion of Russians is felt in the women’s tournament, where Anna Shelvakova, Elizabeth Tuktamisheva and Alexandra Trusova dominated the world podium last year, and in the category of couples with a pair of Missina and Galliamov. increase. And Boikova-Kozlovskii won gold and bronze.

It also robs the audience of the third act of the duel between Olympic ice dance champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Sizeron, and the dolphins Victoria Sinitzina and Nikita Katsalapov. Since the 2018 Pyeongchang Games (Korea), only Muscovites has defeated the French. On the ice of the Austrian Graz ice skating rink at the 2020 European Championship. 2021.

Read again: Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron finally dedicate ice dance to the Olympics

As the world approached, Gabriella Papadakis’ ideas were far more focused on the fate of Ukrainian responders. “I think they are more likely to direct conversations.”He made regular contacts with Kharkov-born dancers Maksym Nikitin and Alexandra Nazarova, who were under the control of Russian artillery, and slid the skaters.

On Instagram on the social network, on March 12, skater Andrii Kokura published an exchange of messages about his comrade, 20-year-old Ivan Shmuratko. Did he know if the latter had the opportunity to train, having to attend a man’s personal event? “He can hide in a bomb shelter. I know. »»

The question of whether Ukrainian skaters are in Montpellier has not yet been resolved. Everyone managed to leave the country, “We will do everything we can to get them involved.”, On the FFSG side. Some clubs have already stated that they are welcoming athletes who want to stay in France after the competition and are ready to make access to training facilities.

Papadakis’s Return-Cizeron and Nathan Chen Confiscated

Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Sizeron, who have just won the Olympic crown in ice dancing at the Beijing Olympics, are headliners of the Montpellier World Figure Skating Championships (March 23-27). The French do not hide their ambitions. Already a quadruple world champion, he is keen to regain the crown stolen by Russians Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov in 2021.But for the last four years after focusing on the Olympic gold medal “We will try to have fun in front of the French people, that is rather our purpose.”Sliding Guillaume Cizeron. “It’s like a final celebration. It will continue to be an important competition, but with less pressure than before.There are many of his partners.

But the people will be robbed of another Olympic champion. The winner of the previous three editions of the world, Nathan Chen of the United States, had to withdraw from the competition for the following reasons:“Prolonged wounds”..