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Has anyone read this story ?

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Scotsgirl

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As I was browsing my facebook page a story caught my eye from a page called Gymnastics World , its aboout two girls from Belarus who were to represent their country in the world championships but this has been taken away as two girls have obtained dual citizenship and will represent their country now , anyway just wondering if anyone has had a read of this ?
 

ladybird

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I read about it too. What a crazy and unfair situation!
 

Ausi_poppet

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Wow, I just read that story after your post. No offence to anyone, but I gather they've never been to Belarus, only their coaches have.

Look at this:

IG: How do you think you can help the Belarusian program in general, not just by competing at worlds?

AK: The U.S. is so dominant right now, which is great. But especially for the European countries, they are losing gymnasts because they think the U.S. is always going to win and they will never meet that expectation. But with us going it’s showing that we want to represent for you, and that you can still do it, but we just need more of you to come out.

KD: I want to show them that their dreams can come true. If they want to be an Elite and represent Belarus, they definitely can. You just have to push through the hard days and the good days. Give it a lot of dedication and time and patience.

I added the italics. It seems somewhat conceited for this girls to think that they are showing people in Belarus that if they want to go elite and represent their own country they can do that. Especially without training in America first.

Yes America is very strong and it must be frustrating to be a good gymnast who has no chance of making it onto the national team, but I still think there should be some expectation that you actually become part of the country you represent. Otherwise, it's not about representing countries it playing for teams.
 

lovegymnastics22

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I was actually joking with a parent at our meet yesterday that our girls best chance of getting to the Olympics was to move overseas. I can't believe this is actually happening.
 

Ausi_poppet

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I don't have a problem with people moving overseas to acquire citizenship then competing for another country. Australia has a long track record of that - particularly in the winter olympics and even our cricket and rugby teams. But there's some "buy in" to being Australian. The people come and live here at least for some of the year and identify as being Australian. It's a really big thing in our sports-mad country to wear the green and gold.

I know of some of our swimmers who have dual citizenship representing their other country because it's just too difficult to make the Australian team, but they still have some relationship with that country - they were born there, or there's a family history with that country. From the story provided, that doesn't seem to be the case here.

I'm sure these girls have the best of intentions, but I think the older people in their lives might have lost focus on the ideals of representing your country at the expense of just competing.

I was trying to think how to put my thoughts into better words, and then I read this article, which exactly sums up my position - http://thegymter.net/2015/10/01/why-im-angry-about-belarus/
 

Gymmommy71

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I'm actually surprised we don't see this more - if people are going to uproot their lives and move to Texas and Iowa for gym, I don't see why they just don't take it a little further and go to another country for a little bit. Especially for an event specialist who would have no shot at making the U.S. team, but would have a strong shot at a medal if they could just get to the games.
 

duyetanh

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I don't have a problem with people moving overseas to acquire citizenship then competing for another country. Australia has a long track record of that - particularly in the winter olympics and even our cricket and rugby teams. But there's some "buy in" to being Australian. The people come and live here at least for some of the year and identify as being Australian. It's a really big thing in our sports-mad country to wear the green and gold.

I know of some of our swimmers who have dual citizenship representing their other country because it's just too difficult to make the Australian team, but they still have some relationship with that country - they were born there, or there's a family history with that country. From the story provided, that doesn't seem to be the case here.

I'm sure these girls have the best of intentions, but I think the older people in their lives might have lost focus on the ideals of representing your country at the expense of just competing.

I was trying to think how to put my thoughts into better words, and then I read this article, which exactly sums up my position - http://thegymter.net/2015/10/01/why-im-angry-about-belarus/
The article was perfect....I was at a loss for words, but the article said it all for me, with the exception of mentioning their parents. I could not in good faith have my dd usurp an individual in another country who had trained all her life for this opportunity, when my own child knew nothing even about the country! Life is not all about achieving glory at the cost of others. Ugh.
 

Seeker

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I'm actually surprised we don't see this more - if people are going to uproot their lives and move to Texas and Iowa for gym, I don't see why they just don't take it a little further and go to another country for a little bit. Especially for an event specialist who would have no shot at making the U.S. team, but would have a strong shot at a medal if they could just get to the games.
But as I understand it -- they're not uprooting anything. They will continue to live and train in CA and just go straight to Worlds representing a country they've never set foot in and have no ties to except through their coach. Maybe I missed some details, but that was the gist of it when I read the articles on it late last week. This is a bit different than a country "importing" athletes for Winter Games sports as they already had a program with dedicated individuals. If they were invited to join that team, I think people would feel differently, but it seems that they're displacing them which is pretty tough to swallow.
 

munchkin3

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We had a young man on our team that did this in February 2015. His parents were of Eastern European descent, so off he went once he was invited.......They really needed him for the Olympics and it gave him the opportunity the re connect with relatives. He had trained in the US always.

I can't really judge it though......I don't know enough about this type of thing.
 

Faith

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Do they have any relationship to Belarus at all? Grandparents? Or is it purely that their coaches know Nelli Kim well enough?

I think if you have familial links (e.g. parents/grandparents), or live and train in a country not of your birth, then that's acceptable. To just pick a country like these two appear to have, never having set foot in that country, or intend to, is wrong.

I agree it completely negates the idea of representing your country. I also think if it wasn't for Nelli Kim (mis)using her influence, chances are they'd never have got citizenship.

DD has a grandparent who is not from the UK. If she wanted, she could represent that country. But she would genuinely be entitled to citizenship, even without the sport links.
 
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Turk

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I read about this the other day The moment I saw that Belarus already had two gymnasts selected and that these two would replace them without having anything to do with the country, I was unimpressed. o_O
 
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Seeker

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Do they have any relationship to Belarus at all? Grandparents? Or is it purely that their coaches know Nelli Kim well enough?
No ties to the country whatsoever per the information that has been provided. The was made possible by their coach and his relationships and Nellie Kim pushing it through. If the information provided is in fact true, they've never been to Belarus and have no plans to go -- they'll just meet up with the team in Glasgow. I believe their travel expenses are being funded by the parents (not Belarus National team).
 

bogwoppit

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To never even go and train, to never set foot in the Belarus training gym, is really disrespectful. I do not like this at all.

Totally different if your parents are from the country, that you go and train with their coaches and the team.

This is really a bit ugly. I really did not like the comments from the US gymnasts, I hope they were misquoted, because it makes them sound completely ignorant of the situation.

The adults in the situation, from both countries, should be ashamed.
 
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Seeker

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Totally agree with you, @bogwoppit --it's disrespectful on many levels and at least one of the adults should have said no. Maybe the details made available publicly are somewhat off and quotes may be not exact, but I smell a rat either way. What are the chances of 2 "just barely turned Elite" gymnasts from the same gym having familial ties to Belarus? Of course, anything is possible but it just doesn't seem very likely. And this action has crushed the dreams of actual Belarussian gymnasts that have been working towards this and competing all along. It's really distasteful.
 

bookworm

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I find it appalling that this is even allowed without any family tie or heritage or even relocation (as some kids do live overseas due to parent employment) ....can you imagine if this happened to any US athlete? Heck some people were all in a snit when Aly Raisman scored higher than Jordyn Weiber to beat her out into the AA finals at the Olympics, and that was fair and square....just imagine if one of our girls was replaced by someone from say Britain who had "been just going out to represent you and show you your dreams can come true"...that would be met with outrage , I'm sure....
 

Scotsgirl

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I feel heart sorry for the two girl from Belarus how sad to dedicate your life to something you love and make the team for the world championships only for it to be taken away in a flash , this is so unfair and should not be allowed to happen , so sad .
 

l.c.o

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Another article/interview I read today: http://www.intlgymnast.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4388:kwan-dickson-eager-for-worlds-debut-on-behalf-of-belarus&catid=3:interviews&Itemid=168

I was disappointed to read that one of their coaches (Marinova) will also fill the role as the Belarus head coach. :/ And that, since they're the only two going, they aren't going to bother even setting foot into Belarus.

They sounded a bit less immature in this article.

My DD will never compete for the U.S. She won't ever even sniff elite. Heck, she's not even he best girl at her USAG level in her gym. But I'd like to think that I'd lose my mind if this was ever suggested for her. The whole idea is to win the spot because you're the best in your country and you've earned it. Not that you can circumvent the rules the best.

My heart breaks for Sviatlana and Valeryia.
 
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