Rustam Sharipov interview

A member of the gold-medal-winning Unified Team in 1992, Rustam Sharipov returned in 1996 to claim Ukraine’s first men’s gymnastics gold, with a parallel bars win in Atlanta, where the Ukrainian men’s team also claimed bronze. …

Ohio State head coach Rustam Sharipov:

You became a U.S. citizen in 2008 and have lived in the United States for more than 20 years now, but you have family still living in Ukraine.

Yes, my parents are still there, my brother is still there, my nephew. I’m glad they are fine so far, but it’s hard every day …

The IOC recently said they’d consider letting athletes from Belarus and Russia compete under a neutral flag in 2024. As a Ukrainian Olympian, what are your feelings about that?

When this war first began, I sort of agreed about keeping politics and sports separate, but then I saw Russian athletes start actively supporting the war, supplying stuff for the war, and creating young military kids who are going to ‘protect’ their country…That’s when I completely changed. 

This idea that letting Russia and Belarus compete will help bring the war to an end? That’s, excuse me, B.S.  …

The other thing that really bothers me is that the Russians, their life didn’t change. They have everything they need to prepare for competitions, while Ukraine athletes…Some are dying, and most don’t have a place to practice, no coach, no gym. But the IOC says they should compete on the same field? That’s not fair. …


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Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

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