video is in Russian, the text version in the link is in Ukrainian).
Did you have a déjà vu while watching the Olympic
rhythmic gymnastics final?
Absolutely no. I’m not getting tired of congratulating our Ganna, our
team, our coaches, the Deriuginas, Albina Mykolayivna, Iryna Ivanivna, Ireesha
Blokhina, and everyone involved. It’s a huge team, which has made an enormous effort
to come to this victory. I didn’t have a déjà vu. The feelings were absolutely
different, because when you’re competing yourself, you are the one responsible
for your actions. It’s much harder to experience it from afar. You can’t get
into an athlete’s head, you can’t know one’s condition, what a gymnast’s
feeling, and what thoughts she has. I couldn’t know about Ganna’s state of
mind, but I was sure that she’s surrounded by the world’s best coaches, which
made me confident about her success, confident that they would prepare her
properly, and that she would prepare herself as an experienced gymnast.
She’s done it, and, according to judges, it was enough for the bronze.
We can judge it only as viewers influenced by emotions while you can analyze a
performance and compare your impression with the judges’ scores. Do you agree with
I think I would rather agree with Ganna’s scores. They were correct and
she was scored fairly. If she made a mistake, she got a deduction, if not, the
scores were high. However, I wouldn’t agree with her rivals’ scores, meaning
the Russians’. It’s a complicated matter. Of course, everyone saw that the only
gymnast who hasn’t made a big mistake, a drop, during the Olympics was Ganna.
Which, respectively, gives her a great advantage. In All-Around, as Iryna
Ivanivna said, a gymnast who drops an apparatus can’t end up on the podium.
I’d agree, but it has nothing to do with a gymnast anymore. Rules are
rules, a drop costs a 0.3 points deduction, and it’s not much. If it was a
point or more, the podium would probably be different. I don’t want to
complain, I don’t want to talk about bad things. After all, this bronze is a
reward for Ukraine, a long-awaited reward. It’s been eight years since the last
Olympics where we got a bronze. And Ganna managed to snatch it again, managed
to prove that Ukraine is one of the strongest countries in rhythmic gymnastics.
Paralympic athletes are inspiring. Celebrities edited to look like them are not.
The Brazilian edition of Vogue magazine published an image from a photo shoot last week designed to promote the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games next month.
Here’s where things got weird: Instead of shooting Paralympic athletes, the publication chose to use actors whose images were edited to make it appear as if they had disabilities.
That’s right. Two celebrity ambassadors for the Brazilian Paralympic Committee were edited to look like amputees. Cleo Pires lost an arm, and Paulo Vilhena was given a prosthetic leg. As Mic’s Rachel Lubitz pointed out, to be fair, the Paralympic athletes who were on set didn’t seem to have any problem with the magazine’s choices. Still, the move seems misguided on a deeper level than its potential offensiveness to particular athletes. After all, if interest in the Paralympic Games is low because of the perception that the games are less exciting, less glamorous, and less worth watching than the games’ able-bodied counterpart that just wrapped up, it would seem that Vogue Brazil’s decision to replace the athletes with actors doesn’t necessarily show solidarity but actually reinforces that thinking. The belief underlying the campaign — that actual competitors’ images and achievements aren’t enough on their own to excite potential audiences — is exactly the problem.