Kamila Valieva’s coach, Eteri Tutberidze, didn’t seem to offer any condolences or words of support to the young athlete, who has been in the glare of the global spotlight for a week now. She was heard on live TV asking Valieva, in Russian, “Why did you stop fighting? Explain it to me, why? You let it go after that axel,” according to NPR.
The International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said that he “was disturbed” seeing how Valieva’s coach was treating her and that he could see the “immense, immense mental stress” Valieva was under, according to Reuters. A Kremlin spokesperson hit back at this during a press conference, saying “He doesn’t like the harshness of our coaches but everybody knows that the harshness of a coach in high-level sport is key for their athletes to achieve victories,” according to Reuters.
Valieva wasn’t the only Russian figure skater to succumb to stress and tears with the women’s final figure skate.