March 10, 2022

The "Z" Symbol


The "Z" Symbol
A pro-war symbol YoutTube, EuroNews

Ivan Kuliak, 21 years old, took third place at last week’s Gymnastics World Cup in Doha, Qatar. Upon taking his place on the winner's podium, the audience and viewers at home witnessed a shocking support of the Russian invasion by Ivan as he wore the letter "Z" in white tape on the center of his chest. 

This otherwise innocuous symbol was recently adopted to show support for the unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine led by Vladimir Putin. The symbol, a simple letter "Z,”was seen on Russian tanks and vehicles entering Ukraine (remarkably, the letter isn't a part of the Russian or Ukrainian alphabets).

The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) stated they are working towards disciplinary action through the Gymnastics Ethics Foundation. Speculation rose that the Ivan may have been coerced or even forced to wear the symbol. However, Valentina Rodioenko, Russian national gymnastics team head coach, stated this was not the case. Rodioenko denied any involvement in the stunt, stating she was not aware Ivan was going to wear the symbol.

We can only hope that the FIG follows through with their statements, and disciplinary action is taken. A video of Kuliak taking to the podium can be seen here.

 

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