Krystsina Tsimanouskaya gave her first interview from Warsaw. The sprinter also held a press conference on Thursday.
Belarusian sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaja gave an interview on Thursday after his return to Europe from the Polish capital, Warsaw.
Tsimanouskaja, 24, ran in the women’s 100-meter preliminary round with a time of 11.47, which was not enough space for the semi-finals. However, he became the most watched athlete in the world when the Belarusian Olympic Committee first tried to get Tsimanouskaya to replace the country’s messaging team and the runner refused to forcibly return him to his homeland.
The sprinter was already picked up from the Tokyo Olympic Village towards Narita Airport when his phone rang. There were only seconds, but the message became clear.
“My grandmother called me when they were already taking me to the airport. All he said was that do not come back to Belarus. It’s not safe, ”Tsimanouskaya said in an interview with news agency Reuters.
“That’s it. After that, he hung up. ”
Sprinter the family had feared that Tsimanouskaya would be forced into a psychiatric ward in her home country, so her grandmother grabbed the phone.
Tsimanouskaja was in trouble after publicly criticizing the leadership of the national team. He had been selected for the 4×400 meter messaging team, a sport in which he would never compete.
Tsimanouskaja was needed as a substitute because the Belarusians had not ensured in advance that all runners would be subject to the required doping testing.
However, the criticism was too much for the dictatorship’s sports decision-makers. Director of the Belarus Olympic Committee Viktor Lukashenko is the president Alexander Lukashenko son.
In a Reuters interview, Tsimanouskaya stressed that he had always stayed away from politics. He said he was an athlete who didn’t even understand anything about political life.
“I did not sign letters or take part in any demonstrations, nor did I say anything against the Belarussian government,” he said.
“I will do my best not to disturb politics.”
The sprinter admitted that his position may sound cruel “because of all the terrible things that happened in Belarus last summer”.
In matters, Tsimanouskaya referred to the non-violent uprising that followed the rigged presidential election in Belarus and the crackdown on protests.
“I just wanted to go to the Olympics and do my best. I wanted to be in the finals and compete for medals, ”he said.
Tsimanouskaja and her husband Arseni Zdanevich received humanitarian visas from Poland, and Tsimanouskaya flew to the country on Wednesday.
According to Reuters, the husband of Tsimanouskaya arrived in Warsaw in eleven countries in the evening and met his wife.
The direct flight from Tokyo to Warsaw was changed to two flights for safety reasons. Tsimanouskaya flew first from Tokyo to Vienna and later from Vienna to Warsaw.
On his return trip, Tsimanouskaya left the Polish Embassy in Tokyo.
He stayed at the embassy for two nights after refusing to return to his home country at the airport.
The Belarusian Olympic Committee said Tsimanouskaya withdrew from the Games “due to her emotional and mental situation based on medical advice”. It did not answer additional questions from Reuters on Thursday.