Valieva’s coach and Russian teammates react at the end of the skater’s Olympics

“I feel very happy because I was in the right place at the right time and doing the right things – that’s what matters,” Shcherbakova said. But she quickly added, “On the other hand, I feel an emptiness inside.”

On NBC, Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir called the scenes surrounding the finale of the contest “heartbreaking” and “devastating,” and spoke plainly, over and over and over, as they waited for Valieva’s score they believed. that it was unfair – to Valieva, to other skaters, to viewers around the world – to the 15-year-old boy who competed, and especially under the weight of notoriety and expectations and everything else.

“She shouldn’t have been allowed to skate in this Olympic event,” said Lipinski, a former gold medalist in the event. She added that it angered her when the adults around Valieva didn’t “make better decisions.”

“It’s not fair,” Lipinski said as sobs played across the screen, for a 15-year-old who has had to deal with all this.

Her co-star Johnny Weir posted a video to his Instagram story shortly after the broadcast ended, calling the night “the weirdest and most heartbreaking event I’ve ever witnessed.” throughout his life”.

“I hope that never happens again,” Weir said.

Adam Rippon, America’s Mariah Bell Trainer, 10th Place, explicitly used on Twitter to describe the chaotic ending to the contest. And on Russian state television, commentator Andrei Zhuranko thundered, “Sports officials, you broke the most talented figure skater in the world.”

Ivan NechepurenkoIlya Gurevich and Ilaria Parogni contribution report. Valieva’s coach and Russian teammates react at the end of the skater’s Olympics

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