It was an epic battle in the most popular and dramatic event in the Olympic history, the opening ceremonies. In an epic match between two Olympic champions, the Russian and the American, American gymnast Aly Raisman took on Russian Vova Volkova in the finals of Olympic Gymnastics and the match was a nail biter until she won the gold by the most unlikely of paths.
Afterwards, Americans of all shapes and size were invited to the Russian’s victory celebration on the red carpet of the Olympic Stadium, a rare sight for the US. A small contingent were allowed inside the auditorium, but not many saw what was happening inside. That was because the US government had deemed the event “sensitive”. No one was allowed to speak to them and none were allowed entry.
In addition to a small group being prevented from entering the stadium, it also meant that US fans had to wait outside as the rest of the world tried and failed to view the spectacle. There were only around 100 people allowed inside and most of us were waiting out the rain and the sun. At this point, it was a full on circus atmosphere, but then we heard the crowd cheering.
We were also treated to an interview with Vova Volkova herself. Her response was quite inspiring, in my opinion. Despite the many times American teams have humiliated Russia at the Olympics, this time it was the Russians themselves that had to suffer from their own humiliation. Instead of taking credit for their incredible performance, they simply congratulated everyone on what a great performance it had been, while shaking their hand and hugging the people standing behind them. That must have been difficult for them, but I’m sure it’s not difficult for our own athletes – they have no choice in the matter.
Vova Volkova came to the arena with her own message to each of the other Russian competitors. “I will say this before the crowd: this is not just about me, I don’t want to lose. I didn’t achieve my dreams but I feel I’ve done something – and I believe we can do great things. If we take these two days to rest and enjoy each other, I’m sure both sides will find their victory.” At the end, they put their hands out, which seemed to signify the end. Unfortunately, it was not to be.
Vova Volkova was also interviewed by an Australian reporter who asked the same question, she said this:
“This is our show, it doesn’t matter
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