Thursday, August 11, 2016

Gymternet news

It's the Olympics and so many things are happening! I made an overview of some things I learned from various news sites today and yesterday.

David Beliavskiy of Russia proposed to his girlfriend, Maria Mihailova, after winning the team silver. 
Here's a photo of the couple from David's instagram.

Looks like Denis Abliazin might finally marry Ksenia Semenova (they still aren't married, were waiting till after Rio) and there are rumors that the couple is expecting a baby. No official confirmation from the gymnasts yet.

Dipa Kramakar of India was grounded on her birthday with no phone privileges. Her coach sounds kinda abusive.

Angelina Melnikova  of Russia had a hard time at the Olympics. Her first coach, though, says she's always been a fighter. Her mom says that Angelina isn't allowed to buy chocolate by herself (only her mom can buy her chocolate) and she has to wait till 18 to get a second piercing in her ear.

Oleg Verniaev made a video in which he thanked his fans and said he had a great day. He said he felt like he was carried by angels from apparatus to apparatus.
He's also at the center of controversy in the Russian media. Apparently, the Ukrainian Minister of Sport ordered all athletes to refuse interviews from Russian media. Not all followed the order, but Verniaev did - as soon as he saw that the journalist in the mixed zone is from Russia, he turned around and left.

Russians aren't big on gender equality, unfortunately, and sexist comments in mainstream media are a very common thing. However, some websites aren't happy with it and are trying to call the sexists out.
Russian website Wonderzine, known for its feminist stance, critisized the coverage of Olympic gymnastics in Russian media. They specifically focused on one outrageously sexist article, but I can tell you that sexist coverage, unfortunately, is a general trend.
The article in question, by Kommersant, says that the silver-winning WAG team performed "like men" (and, apparently, not like weak and silly women), which is a good thing. However, later they are described in derogative terms. Melnikova is called "devchushka" which can be translated "girlie" - this is a term that you would use describing a little girl, not an Olympic athlete. They say that Aliya was mostly nursing her injuries instead of competing the last quad (and this is about an athlete who basically carried her team the whole quad and earned multiple medals). The author praises their smiles instead of their gymnastics.
The the author focuses on American gymnasts. Now, if you're not aware, the coverage of American female gymnasts in Russia is usually not flatterin at all - they are called "manly", "big", "with ugly lines" and so on. Here it was a bit better, but he still called Simone Biles and Gabrielle Douglas "stocky" and then went on describing Aly Raisman as "curvy" and "hot thing".
I'm disgusted but not surprised.

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