If you don't know who Lidiya Ivanova is or you only know her as a gymnast, you're lucky.
We, Russian speakers, have been subjected to her commentary of almost all gymnastics meets that are televised in Russia. She's a horrible commentator. She can never remember any facts about gymnasts, she always mixes up their names and makes up stuff about them. She can't even tell who is who about Russian gymnasts - often you see one gymnast compete, but she thinks it's someone else. She also likes to say nasty things about gymnasts, especially about non-Russian gymnasts - their appearance, their weight (her favorite topic), how horrible is their technique (only Russians have good technique) and how Russians are always unfairly judged. You get the picture.
She also has opinions and likes to share them so she comes to all the talk shows and gives a million interviews.
She's clearly irrelevant in the eyes of knowledgeable gym fans, but, unfortunately, general public doesn't know that and may see her as a gymnastics expert.
Ivanova was on the talk show about Grishina last week. I haven't watched this specific talk show because I was told it's absolutely horrible and Ivanova played a part in making it horrible.
However, she, apparently, has more things to say.
Today, AiF (an influential Russian paper) published an interview with her in which she talks about Grishina and Korbut. Why are they paired? Because when Korbut was selling her medals recently, Russian press gave it a pretty nasty coverage, so, these two gymnasts are similar in the fact that recently people have been talking about their money problems instead of their athletic achievements.
I translated the part about Grishina. If you want me to translate the part about Korbut as well, leave a comment.
Destitution or Fraud? Why people discuss Grishina’s and Korbut’s money instead of their wins.
Anastasia Grishina, silver Olympic medalist from London 2012, told the story of how her own mother stole from her. Legendary Olga Korbut sold her medals.
AiF and Lidiya Ivanova (2-times Olympic champion, coach and commentator) tried to understand how these two ended up like this.
by Lidiya Ivanova
I’ll start with telling you about Nastia. Before the London Olympics she was put on the national team as a very promising athlete. Grishina competed quite badly in London. Nastia’s mistakes were exactly the reason our team ended up second in the team final. But despite her mistakes, despite the lost gold medal, Nastia got all the honors – car, money prizes ( 5 million rubles).
There was no further development in her career. She left the national team, continued to train for a while, but didn’t have any significant achievements. At the same time, because of how Russian sport is funded, she was paid a lot of money. So, now Grishina is telling how her relatives spent the 20 million rubles she earned. But people aren’t feeling compassionate towards her, they’re wondering – how a 21-year old is able to earn that much money? For what?
I saw how Nastia and her mom were inseparable. Her mommy went with her to all the training camps, to competitions, she roomed with her daughter at the Round Lake, even though it’s prohibited. I have to admit, her mother invested a lot in Nastia’s achievement. Only recently they had great relationship. And now her mother takes everything from her, betrays her. That’s nonsense! The only possible explanation would be Nastia’s marriage, meaning, her family lost their main earner. And she has a big family – three brothers who, as I understand, aren’t working. But I don’t quite believe this explanation. Could it be that the marriage ruined her relationship with her mother or is she plotting some sort of a fraud?
Poor Nastia. Because of her age she couldn’t manage her finances. Her family did that and they bought apartments with her money. As it turns out, Nastia herself was registered in a communal apartment, I again don’t understand why wouldn’t she register in one of these new apartments? Her answer is that it was cynical calculation – they hoped that the state would take pity on the athlete living in a communal apartment and solve this issue.
And, again, this ugly story was made public by Nastia’s efforts. She gives interviews, talks about being hurt and offended. Even though she could simply hire lawyers and solve everything in court without dragging in the public. I can’t stop thinking that she’s trying to make people pity her so that the country will give her something more. But, I think, that the country already gave Nastia too much.