“I used to be feeling loads of pleasure as a result of I occurred to be in the fitting time and the fitting place and did the fitting issues — that’s the vital factor,” Shcherbakova mentioned. However she shortly, added, “Alternatively, I really feel this vacancy inside.”
On NBC, Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir known as the scenes across the finish of the competitors “heartbreaking” and “devastating,” and made clear, time and again, as they waited for Valieva’s scores that they believed it had been unfair — to Valieva, to the opposite skaters, to viewers all over the world — for the 15-year-old to have competed, and particularly underneath the crushing weight of scandal and expectations and every thing else.
“She mustn’t have been allowed to skate on this Olympic occasion,” mentioned Lipinski, a former gold medalist within the occasion. She added that it had made her offended that the adults round Valieva didn’t “make higher selections.”
“It’s not honest,” Lipinski mentioned because the sobs performed out on the display screen, for a 15-year-old to have handled all of this.
Her colleague Johnny Weir posted a video to his Instagram story quickly after the printed ended, calling the evening the “most weird and heartbreaking occasion I’ve seen in my whole life.”
“I hope that it’s by no means repeated,” Weir mentioned.
Adam Rippon, who coaches the American Mariah Bell, who completed tenth, used an expletive on Twitter to explain the chaotic finish to the competitors. And on Russian state tv, the commentator Andrei Zhuranko thundered, “Sports activities officers, you’ve gotten damaged probably the most gifted determine skater on this planet.”
Ivan Nechepurenko, Ilya Gurevich and Ilaria Parogni contributed reporting.