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Gold medalist walks off podium when the wrong anthem started to play
After winning the gold in the triple jump, the athlete left her podium and walked away when the wrong anthem blared over the speakers.
Cherie Gozon
10.21.21

Athletes spend most of their time training to be the best they can be.

Pexels|Victor Freitas
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Pexels|Victor Freitas

Hours and days spent practicing their craft, conditioning their body, and sharpening those skills even more. Not to mention the money spent on trainers, coaches, and more. That’s because there’s a lot at stake, and each athlete aims to win.

National athletes feel twice the pressure.

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PxFuel

They’re bringing the honor and glory not only on the name at the back of their jersey but the flag in front of it. “For flag and country,” some would say. And there’s no greater pride than when they get on that podium with their flags hoisted high and the anthem playing.

This could’ve been what this Belarusian athlete felt when she stood at the podium.

YouTube Screenshot|NEXTA
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YouTube Screenshot|NEXTA

However, as she stood there with all the national pride she had, something went wrong. It was clear on her face that she was very uncomfortable at that moment, so she stepped down the podium and walked away.

Violetta Skvortsova won the gold medal for women’s triple jump at the U20 European Championships.

YouTube Screenshot|NEXTA
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YouTube Screenshot|NEXTA

All three medalists stepped on the podium and were given their medals. Everyone’s still in high spirits after they won their triple jump competition. Then, as any custom in international sporting events, they called everyone’s attention to play the national anthem of the winning country. In this case, Belarus.

The flag of Belarus was slowly hoisted, but they played a different anthem.

YouTube Screenshot|NEXTA
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YouTube Screenshot|NEXTA

Violetta looked confused and uncomfortable. You can see her bit her lip, probably thinking what a blunder it is for that momentous event.

She suddenly stepped down at the podium and tried to walk away.

YouTube Screenshot|NEXTA
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YouTube Screenshot|NEXTA

According to reports, the organizers warned her that if she walked away, she would be disqualified. Violetta said in an interview that she knew the repercussions it would have on her, but she’s more concerned about the national anthem blunder.

It took quite a while for the organizers to go near her to ask what was wrong.

YouTube Screenshot|NEXTA
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YouTube Screenshot|NEXTA

It was only then that they realized it was the wrong anthem. Instead of the Belarusian anthem, they played the anthem for Bosnia and Herzegovina. The anthem stopped playing, and the other athletes were ushered out of the podium, but Violetta and the organizers continued to discuss the matter.

Reports said that the organizers assured Violetta that they would redo the ceremony.

YouTube Screenshot|NEXTA
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YouTube Screenshot|NEXTA

However, there was no confirmation whatsoever if it indeed happened. She expressed through Nine News Australia that what she did was only to show patriotism to her beloved country.

“I am a patriot of his country. I was born in Belarus, which is very beautiful. My love for it cannot be expressed in words.”

Netizens were quick to praise her for her act of national pride.

YouTube Screenshot|NEXTA
Source:
YouTube Screenshot|NEXTA

While reports said that this act created a split reaction among Belarusians, people who saw the incident from all over the world supported her move. They said that what she did was just right, and it was supposed to be something that could have been avoided.

What do you think about this incident? Would you do the same if you were in her shoes?

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By Cherie Gozon
hi@sbly.com
Cherie Gozon is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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