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Has anyone read this story ?

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strawberries

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Oh dear. This is even worse (from the IG article)

IG: How are you preparing not only for your first worlds, but handling the responsibility of representing Belarus well there?

AK: At first I wasn’t sure, because I’m American. I always had my mind set on competing for America because that’s my country. But once the idea sank in, it showed me how much I can do and see. I can travel the world and experience everything, but just representing a different name. So I’d rather go for the experience than for the name.
 

Seeker

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Oh dear. This is even worse (from the IG article)

IG: How are you preparing not only for your first worlds, but handling the responsibility of representing Belarus well there?

AK: At first I wasn’t sure, because I’m American. I always had my mind set on competing for America because that’s my country. But once the idea sank in, it showed me how much I can do and see. I can travel the world and experience everything, but just representing a different name. So I’d rather go for the experience than for the name.
OMG.

Head :: Desk :: BANG.

o_O
 

bogwoppit

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No words.
 
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Pineapple_Lump

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Competing for a country you have never set foot in and have no ties to is unheard of I think. I would love to know if anyone can dredge up another example .And the girls in their interview seem to think they are doing the country a favour. It is almost unbelievable.
Anna Pavlova was initially training in Russia when she was bought by Azerbaijan. Most people were okay with that one because we all still loved the idea of Anna competing and did not want to believe at that point that she was practically useless to team Russia.

They couldn't secure a team spot but could secure an individual all-around spot for the country by placing high enough at worlds, right? What is it, top 24? With the two per country rule, those two girls could have an outside shot at that with the meet of their life.
They only have two spots at these worlds because their current seniors are not very good (and likely wont qualify to the test event). So as Bog mentioned they might be using the Americans to get spots at the test event which will then be handed to their current national champion who is still a junior this year...Again the issue boils down to stupid FIG rules that no longer allow an Olympic eligible junior to enter worlds in the year preceding the Olympics.

We are talking about a team who had one score over 13 (13.066) out of 12 routines at last years European championships. I can see why they may be looking at strategies to get around the rules that prevent them from allowing their best gymnast to compete and qualify.

To be honest I don't really care, I am competitive and I do struggle with the 'participation/representation' aspect of the Olympics when it takes places from people who actually had a chance of placing. I love Laurie Hernandez, she is doing very well and is one of the best all around gymnasts in the world, but it is highly likely we will not see her at the Olympics (I hope I am wrong) because she is not strong enough in the right places to make her team.
 

OzZee

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To be honest I don't really care, I am competitive and I do struggle with the 'participation/representation' aspect of the Olympics when it takes places from people who actually had a chance of placing. I love Laurie Hernandez, she is doing very well and is one of the best all around gymnasts in the world, but it is highly likely we will not see her at the Olympics (I hope I am wrong) because she is not strong enough in the right places to make her team.
Maybe because I not a competitive person but when I do watch the Olympics I love to see the single representatives of the small countries in sports they aren't so strong in, and the proud way they represent their country. How thrilled they are at getting the opportunity to compete against no doubt some of their idols on such a magnificent stage.
That's why I watch the Olympics.
Lol but then I do always go for the under dog.
But then I'm not a big sports fan anyway.
 

gymgal

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OMG.

Head :: Desk :: BANG.

o_O
lol you are channeling your inner dunno!!

All I really have to say is that it is just wrong on all accounts. Wrong for the girls to want to represent another country that they are not tied to. Wrong for the coaches and parents who obviously pushed for this. Wrong for Belarus to attempt to secure the spots this way, and wrong for the Olympic committee for allowing it to happen.
 
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wandrewsjr

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I would like to respectfully ask everyone to reserve the majority of their disdain and derision for the ADULT coaches and officials in this whole scenario. These two 16 year old gymnasts, who like many other gymnasts have long dreamed of competing on the worlds or Olympic podium, were likely approached by their own coaches with the following scenario: "Belerus has reached out to us and would like you two to represent them at world championships in Glasgow. You may never have a chance to represent the USA on the world stage and we think we should go for it!" These two 16 year olds likely idolize their personal coaches and never thought to question their decision.
 

Seeker

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Anna Pavlova was initially training in Russia when she was bought by Azerbaijan. Most people were okay with that one because we all still loved the idea of Anna competing and did not want to believe at that point that she was practically useless to team Russia.
This is not the same -- Azerbaijan was trying to build a team from the ground up. Anna was not displacing anyone...nor were the other Russians that now make up the AZB team.
 

bogwoppit

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This is totally about the adults. The coaches presenting the idea and the parents following through with bankrolling it. They have opened the doors for these children to be taken advantage of and victimised in the press. There are children on both sides of the Atlantic who are going to suffer from the fall out of these choices.

FIG needs to put a stop to this.
 

GymSurvivor

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After reading a different article, that included quotes from an official in Belarus, it also seems that Belarus is a bit mislead on the talent of these girls.
The article mentioned at least twice that Belarus is very excited to see someone on the podium for their country.
These girls placed dead last at the U.S. Classic, not even qualifying to Championships. They may be a bit better than the current Belarus girls but there is no way they're landing on the podium. 1st-3rd place with their scores is just not possible. Which leads me to believe Belarus may think they are better than they actually are.
 

4theloveofsports

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In the quoted interview above, it could be the 16 year olds were fed this "opportunity". But I can proudly say, my 10 year old has shot down suggestions from friends, even from me, that in her heart she felt was wrong and selfish.

I also have to say USA is not just a name. It is a great country. It is unfortunate that the adults perhaps have "conditioned" these girls to think the way they do now.

I hope the parents (the coaches won"t care) realize that their daughters will be wearing a jacket that does not say USA (and says a country they would not have even considered visiting or really care for) and that their kids may never live out the stigma associated with such a selfish and shortsighted decision. They may never be allowed to compete, get a scholarship, sponsorship in the US again. They may not even get the support of either country.
 

4theloveofsports

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After reading a different article, that included quotes from an official in Belarus, it also seems that Belarus is a bit mislead on the talent of these girls.
The article mentioned at least twice that Belarus is very excited to see someone on the podium for their country.
These girls placed dead last at the U.S. Classic, not even qualifying to Championships. They may be a bit better than the current Belarus girls but there is no way they're landing on the podium. 1st-3rd place with their scores is just not possible. Which leads me to believe Belarus may think they are better than they actually are.
If by a slight of impossible fate, one of the girls made it to the podium, it will only be Belarus in name. I hope they realize this. I don't understand how they can even claim this as a victory for their country.
 

gymyogimom

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So some countries which are underrepresented in the Olympics, like India, won't do dual citizenship and won't let a child born in a foreign country compete for them if they change back to Indian citizenship. They seriously don't care about the Olympics
 

bogwoppit

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I think one of the girls is already committed to Alabama.
 

4theloveofsports

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Perhaps it is our patriotic nature that makes this situation troublesome and the ensuing tugging on our heart strings for the "injustice" we feel for the "deserving" Belarus gymnasts. But this happens all the time. Even taking it to within our country in college gymnastics. There are colleges that just prefer to give out scholarships only to residents of their state. And there are those that will fill their teams with the best gymnasts they can get above their own residents who are paying taxes. More colleges factor in competition above loyalty; which really is an integral part of what sports is. I'd be willing to wager more countries than not will opt for competition. Is this so bad? Just trying to see if there is any support in this forum for the US gymnasts.

I recall when I got my US citizenship, I had to sign a document stating I can only pledge allegiance to the US flag and renounce any other citizenship I may have. My native country allows for dual citizenship but how does it work on the American side? I didn't think I had a choice.
 
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