Former Russian figure skater Irina Rodnina issued a statement Monday about the controversy surrounding a picture she tweeted out last September depicting Barack Obama and Michelle Obama staring at a banana.
Rodnina, who lit the Olympic flame at the opening ceremony in Sochi, issued a two-part statement:
I respect the Obama family and apologise for not clearly stating earlier that I don’t support the tweeted photo or racism in any form.
My account was hacked and I should have shown better judgement in my initial response and handling of the event (Inside the Games).
Despite the backlash Rodnina faced once her tweet went viral, Sochi organizing committee president and CEO Dmitriy Chernyshenko defended the legendary skater:
She is a three-time Olympic champion, one of the most respected in the world of Olympic athletes. I want to stress that Olympics is not about politics, and any political talks about discussions are inappropriate.
Enjoy your controversy-free games, everyone!
[Source: Inside the Games]