At the beginning of August, the world heard the news about the forced return of Belarusian runner Krystsina Tsimanouskaya from the Olympics. The official reason for her return was her emotional condition, but the real reason was the criticism of the Belarusian sports authorities, headed by Alexander Lukashenko’s son, Viktar Luakshenko.
The beginning of problems
The Belarusian athlete’s problems began in early August, when she publicly criticized the coaching staff. She accused the coaching staff of failing to perform its duties in terms of testing the Belarusian 4×400 m relay team against the coronavirus. The statements of the Olympian were negatively received by the authorities in Minsk, thus forcing her to return to the country.
While already at the airport, Tsimanouskaya contacted Japanese police, asking for protection. She was taken to a hotel, where she said she felt safe.
The world reacts
The international community did not remain passive to the situation of the Belarusian Olympian and several countries, including Poland, offered her help. As the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed, Krystsina Tsimanouskaya was offered asylum in Poland. According to her, the help came very quickly, for which she is very grateful.
Many institutions were involved in the operation of getting Tsimanouskaya from Japan to Poland, including the above-mentioned Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but also the Belarusian Sports Solidarity Foundation. The athlete flew to Poland, where she was joined by her husband, Arsen Zdaniewicz.
Further career of the runner
Help for Tsimanouskaya was not limited to providing her with asylum. The Polish authorities, aware of the importance of training and participation in competitions, offered her to continue her sporting career in Poland. A few days later, it was announced that Krystsina Tsimanouskaya has joined the Orlen Sports Group, which brings together various athletes from Poland, including Olympic Games medalists.
The support provided by the Polish authorities allowed the runner to take part in the Wiesław Maniak Memorial in Szczecin. Cimanouska participated in the 100 and 200 meter runs, where she managed to take the third place.
Sources: PAP, BBC, Eurosport