Belarusian walks off podium after wrong anthem played at European Athletics Championships


Belarusian walks off podium after wrong anthem played at European Athletics Championships

On July 21 Violetta Skvortsova won gold in the triple jump at the European Athletics Championships.

But the victory of Skvortsova had an unexpected continuation.

At the award ceremony the Belarusian heard the anthem of another country even though it had to be the anthem of Belarus. Violetta descended from the top step of the podium and refused to go up there even under threat of possible disqualification. As a result the organizers apologized and the second award ceremony of the Belarusian champion took place on July 22.

Violetta Skvortsova (comment posted on the website of the Belarusian Athletics Federation):
The feeling of patriotism embraced me very much. I sang the anthem. I was pleased that this time it still sounded. Yesterday, when my emotions did not subside, it was unexpected for me to hear what I heard. In the first few seconds I did not understand it, there was an introduction. I thought, probably, there was another version of the anthem.

And then I felt insulted.

The organizers did bad. I waited until our flag rises, and then I stepped off the pedestal. I stood there until the end of the anthem of some country. I understood that I was breaking the procedure of the awarding ceremony and this could entail sanctions, up to the loss of the medal. But at that moment, it was very unpleasant for me that the anthem of some other country sounded, not that of Belarus. After all, we spend so much energy for this moment. It is very important for me. I really wanted to run with the flag, which I did after the performance.

And, of course, standing on a podium, I wanted to hear the anthem of my country.

I believe that you need to respect and love your Motherland. I am a patriot of my country. I was born in Belarus, which is very beautiful. My love for the Motherland cannot be expressed in words. I always miss home, wherever I am. I've visited many countries, I've traveled around the world and every time I return to Belarus with joy. I would like to wish athletes, my peers and everyone else to love their country, respect the place where we were born, respect history! I wanted to dedicate that victory to my mother, who always supports me. And, of course, to the coach - Vladimir Shagun since this is our joint work. I believe that all my merits are equally his.