Thoughts on Svetlana Khorkina interview?

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flippin out

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Khorkina is khorkina. She has only really ever cared about promoting herself to be in front of the cameras.....front and center, all attention to khorkina. So nothing she says in that interview is of any surprise to me. I believe she got what she wanted, shock value and all attention tuned in to her
 

Flippin'A

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I think there's only one person who just wants fame and attention and it isn't the victims of abuse.

As Flippin Out says-- this is standard Khorkina. She routinely insults other gymnasts and seems to say whatever pops into her head at any given moment. If you want your faith in Russian gymnasts restored a little bit go read what Aliya said when they asked her. For being two of the biggest names in recent Russian gymnastics, they seem to be polar opposites in terms of disposition.
 

lostinfog

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Khorkina is Khorkina. In her mind she is still a better gymnast than Simone Over the years I’ve wondered if she really believes what she is saying or if she says the most outlandish things for the attention.

Regardless of Khorkina, Valentina Rod over the years regularly makes mentions of gymnasts being “fat.” Aliya included. The culture there is more blunt and straight forward compared to here. I’m definitely not making excuses for the abuses and behavior there. It is very well documented and no secret that there is no way the emotional, physical and control would be tolerated here for such young children by “most” parents.
 

Gymsanity

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Yes, I read it with an open mind. If people can get past the impulse for a knee jerk reaction and being careful of ethnocentrism, she makes some very good points to consider. Most people would probably say she is crass, but I just say she is Svetlana. I don't need her thoughts and feelings to be in line with mine for me to respect and give her views their due consideration. After I do that, it's up to me to decide what I agree with, disagree with, and if as a result I may want to change or reevaluate some of my beliefs. I've always learned and grown far more from having discussions with people who hold opposing views to my own than with people whose views mimic mine. No matter what my personal feelings and beliefs are on the subject, I just find it refreshing in this day and age to read something that's raw, unfiltered, and not politically correct. :)
 
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Flippin'A

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Yes, I read it with an open mind. If people can get past the impulse for a knee jerk reaction and being careful of ethnocentrism, she makes some very good points to consider. Most people would probably say she is crass, but I just say she is Svetlana. I don't need her thoughts and feelings to be in line with mine for me to respect and give her views their due consideration. After I do that, it's up to me to decide what I agree with, disagree with, and if as a result I may want to change or reevaluate some of my beliefs. I've always learned and grown far more from having discussions with people who hold opposing views to my own than with people whose views mimic mine. No matter what my personal feelings and beliefs are on the subject, I just find it refreshing in this day and age to read something that's raw, unfiltered, and not politically correct. :)
The narrative that abuse victims come forward because of some fictional benefit to them is extremely damaging and has been seen time and again over decades in this sport. No one wants to be famous for being a victim. It results in threats, blackballing, and absolutely retraumatizes. It isn't fun and it isn't a decision made lightly. A big name in gymnastics like Khorkina making these kinds of statements does actual, real damage to actual, real people. It also gives others an excuse to dismiss claims of abuse because it heightens this narrative of "abuse victim" being some sort of glamorous lifestyle. Yes, hearing her voice this opinion absolutely makes me angry and I will absolutely push back against it. Not everyone has the luxury of looking on passively from the sidelines and not worrying about the people who suffer as a result of these statements. So I hope that was raw enough for you to find my views equally "refreshing".
 

Gymsanity

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' She makes no valid points. Not one.' (for YOU, and that's fine, but keep that distinction.)
' So I hope that was raw enough for you to find my views equally "refreshing". ' (I wouldn't call them 'refreshing' as they are common, typical, and expected, but they are hopefully yours and not made by others for you. If that's the case then I respect your opinion.
No one here knows what my views are on her statements and honestly they don't matter. The bigger point is how people feel that other people must think, feel, and act as they do so as not to rock their mental boat. Somehow it's not ok for other people to have other views, ideas and perspectives that differ from yours? And if they do you get 'angry', and they are 'closed-minded and ignorant' and you belittle, berate, character assassinate, attack, and otherwise dismiss them. That's the recipe that's landed humankind where we are today, and that's not that great of a place in my opinion. I'd like to see people be more understanding and tolerant one conversation at a time, so that we could have a true exchange of ideas and hopefully be the better for it.
 

bookworm

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1. No one here knows what my views are on her statements and honestly they don't matter. The bigger point is how people feel that other people must think, feel, and act as they do so as not to rock their mental boat. Somehow it's not ok for other people to have other views, ideas and perspectives that differ from yours? And if they do you get 'angry', and they are 'closed-minded and ignorant' and you belittle, berate, character assassinate, attack, and otherwise dismiss them.
2. I'd like to see people be more understanding and tolerant one conversation at a time, so that we could have a true exchange of ideas and hopefully be the better for it.
A few thoughts here ...
Point 1. You can have whatever views you want on whatever you want... but your current take on giving Khorkina a pass on victim shaming in one of the biggest sexual abuse cases in her own sport is mind boggling ....and as you are a coach, gym owner and parent of a gymnast (from your banner) , I simply find it stunning that you just think the article just references an alternate "view" on the survivors... I would hope that if my child were a "survivor" gymnast at your gym and someone expressed the point of view that she was just seeking attention that you, the coach/gym owner would defend her .... but from your writings, I guess not ...

Point 2. I guess I'm missing what we should be "understanding and tolerant" of in Khorkina's opinion on the survivors....they've been through enough, they do not need well known gymnasts, or Internet gym sites, putting them down and shaming them for stating their truth.
 

Gymsanity

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' but your current take on giving Khorkina a pass on victim shaming' (listening to someone's view that is different from yours is now considered giving them a pass?? If Svetlana hasn't earned the right to talk about and give her opinion on gymnastics, then I'm not sure who has. Having said that, it doesn't mean that everything that comes out of her mouth is gospel, but at least worth a consideration in my opinion.)

I would hope that if my child were a "survivor" gymnast at your gym and someone expressed the point of view that she was just seeking attention that you, the coach/gym owner would defend her .... but from your writings, I guess not ... (presumptive and flat wrong. Over the years I've seen and dealt with children who have been abused at home and it's one of the most serious of concerns, but to keep it real one was 'It was only meant as a joke' and another was a girl who disliked her new step-father immensely. However, those two didn't invalidate or negate the others, merely saying they all need to be looked at and evaluated separately.)

The bigger picture to me is the fact that people are so intolerant of different people, practices, races, religions, ideologies, thoughts and ideas. If I had a dollar for every time I've had my mind changed by someone with a logical, concise, well made argument, I'd be driving a different car! But that can only happen if you aren't afraid to put down your agenda and truly listen and try and understand what the other person is saying. In this life I'm not looking to be right, I'm looking to be enlightened. Thanks for your reply.
 

Oopski

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Khorkina and her opinions are garbage. This is nothing new coming from her.
 

JessSyd

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But that can only happen if you aren't afraid to put down your agenda and truly listen and try and understand what the other person is saying. In this life I'm not looking to be right, I'm looking to be enlightened.
If someone’s agenda is a safe environment for gymnasts (as it should be for anyone involved in the sport when it comes to the topic of abuse) I am not sure that is something anyone should be aspiring to ‘put down’ in a quest for enlightement.

I think it is possible to view Khorkina’s comments through a lens of compassion - perhaps she has known nothing else and is unable to recognise abuse. But ‘enlightening’, her comments are not. She blames victims for not coming forward quickly (ignoring, or perhaps ignorant of the fact that many victims did, and were ignored), and she comments more than once that she believes that people only disclose abuse to get attention.

I think ignorant and close minded are fair descriptions. She certainly demonstrated ignorance of the details of issues she was happy to express strong opinions on. That isn’t an unkind observation - ignorant just means unaware, and nobody knows everything. But it was also close minded. She was given, during the interview, a number of opportunities to examine her own opinion in the face of additional information and she chose not to.

Whereas, urged by your post, I was just very careful about approaching that interview. I read ones she did before it (apparently Covid is God’s punishment for excluding Russia from the Olympics). I looked at her biography for further context. I did everything I could to approach it with an open mind and I still found it full of victim blaming, and the same old rubbish excuses that have allowed psychological abuse to thrive as a gymnastics coaching strategy for as long as it has.
 

Gymsanity

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' If someone’s agenda is a safe environment for gymnasts (as it should be for anyone involved in the sport when it comes to the topic of abuse) I am not sure that is something anyone should be aspiring to ‘put down’ in a quest for enlightenment.' (I didn't read the article that closely as I didn't find it that interesting, but I don't recall seeing where she was 'putting down' having a safe environment in gym or anywhere else for that matter, and I know I certainly didn't.)

' I think it is possible to view Khorkina’s comments through a lens of compassion - perhaps she has known nothing else and is unable to recognize abuse.' (That is my point exactly! We have no idea how she came to have those views, but I would be interested to know. Could be just as you said, maybe she or her coach who she if very fond and defensive of was once wrongly accused themselves, maybe her culture, maybe SHE is the one looking for attention, and the list goes on. I would love to be able to ask her how she reached her conclusions, and I could share with her how I reached mine and maybe we would both be the better for it.)

' I think ignorant and close minded are fair descriptions.' (as long as you weren't those when trying to understand her point of view, that could be absolutely true for you.)

'apparently Covid is God’s punishment for excluding Russia from the Olympics' (This statement should have the least resistance of all if you believe in God and the bible. The bible and every other religious writing I'm aware of attributes plagues, locusts, thunder, lightning, famines,, floods, earthquakes, etc. to deities. So if she believes in that, it only makes sense. Where else would it come from?) Thanks for the reply.
 

Ginger

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'apparently Covid is God’s punishment for excluding Russia from the Olympics' (This statement should have the least resistance of all if you believe in God and the bible. The bible and every other religious writing I'm aware of attributes plagues, locusts, thunder, lightning, famines,, floods, earthquakes, etc. to deities. So if she believes in that, it only makes sense. Where else would it come from?) Thanks for the reply.

People who truly and sincerely believe in God and the Bible are humble. Khorkina statement is arrogant and manipulative.
 
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Flippin'A

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Just because someone holds a belief sincerely does not mean the rest of us are obligated to take that belief seriously. I'm going to once again point out the fact that Khorkina is a public figure in the sport of gymnastics whose opinion holds weight and can have real world consequences. Listen to someone like Jamie Dantzscher or Dominique Moceanu talk about the many times they were told they were only accusing the Karolyis of abuse for attention. It's an easy excuse that delays actual action, which can (and demonstrably has, int he case of Nassar) cause more children to be victimized. There's a difference between "take abuse claims seriously" and "automatically convict anyone who's ever been accused." What Khorkina said was dismissive and harmful, especially since she was making a wide ranging statement about a large number of athletes from all around the world, not one specific case that she has personal knowledge of. Either she is talking about something she knows nothing about, or if your suggestion is correct, she is taking her very limited knowledge and forming an opinion based on that while ignoring widespread abuse problems in the sport as a whole. Which yes, by me definition, is closed-minded and ignorant.

And on the Coronovirus front, I'll once again say it really doesn't matter whether or not she holds that belief sincerely. I believe it would be damaging to the public health if large numbers of people listened to her and started campaigning to get Russia back in the olympics rather than combatting the virus through medical science, so I'm going to loudly and vehemently disagree with that statement. Not every belief is equally valid and should be given equal weight.

I also want to say, Gymsantity, it really doesn't matter to me whether I change your mind in particular, and you haven't expressed any real opinion other than that we should all give her opinion greater thought. But I have personally witnessed the harm it can do when adults decide a child is an attention seeker and therefore not to be trusted. That's why I think it's important that I be a voice on here to speak out against Khorkina's position. I never intended to get into a philosophical debate and I'll leave it off here.
 

Gymsanity

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'Just because someone holds a belief sincerely does not mean the rest of us are obligated to take that belief seriously.' (Absolutely correct, and no one said you should. I was merely saying that people should truly listen to other people and consider their point of view before passing judgement. Once you've done that you have every right to consider her opinion garbage to you if that's how you feel. I think where people go wrong is thinking that their opinion is the 'right' or only one. (it sounded to me like Svetlana was guilty of that herself). Having said that, I've worked with many coaches and athletes from Eastern block countries and I swear they can say 'good morning' and it sounds like they are ticked off!! There is something different in their culture that makes them come across very abrasive, at least to me. I've had to remind myself on many occasions that one man's charlatan is another man's messiah.) She did bring up a couple of points that I thought were worth a discussion, but I think I'll pass with this audience! lol)

' Listen to someone like Jamie Dantzscher or Dominique Moceanu talk about the many times they were told they were only accusing the Karolyis of abuse for attention. It's an easy excuse that delays actual action, which can (and demonstrably has, int he case of Nassar) cause more children to be victimized. There's a difference between "take abuse claims seriously" and "automatically convict anyone who's ever been accused.' (Agreed)

' And on the Coronovirus front, I'll once again say it really doesn't matter whether or not she holds that belief sincerely. I believe it would be damaging to the public health if large numbers of people listened to her and started campaigning to get Russia back in the olympics rather than combatting the virus through medical science, so I'm going to loudly and vehemently disagree with that statement.' (I won't share my beliefs on this subject as they are irrelevant. What I will say is that if she truly believes in God and the bible then that is a perfectly logical assertion she is making. Again, that doesn't mean you necessarily need to believe that as well. I've spent years studying world religions and I'm accepting of each and every one of them up until the point they feel the need to either blow me up or chop off my head! ;0 lol)

' But I have personally witnessed the harm it can do when adults decide a child is an attention seeker and therefore not to be trusted. That's why I think it's important that I be a voice on here to speak out against Khorkina's position.' (I support and applaud you for that. 'A person who doesn't stand for something, will fall for anything'. I've enjoyed having this discussion and hope you have a nice day.)
 
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