Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed his condolences over the death of Anfisa Reztsova, a three-time Olympic champion in skiing and biathlon. This is reported by Finnish Suomiurheilu.com.
Reztsova passed away earlier this week at the age of 58 due to a heart attack. Her death has sent ripples through the Russian sports community, prompting Putin to comment on the Kremlin's official channels.
Vladimir Putin is no stranger to using sports as a tool for national propaganda. Skiing, in particular, is a sport he is familiar with.
The President's reaction to Reztsova's passing underscores the significance of sports figures in Russian society.
In his official statement, Putin described Reztsova as an "incredible athlete" and a "talented and determined person." He emphasized her winning attitude and the respect she garnered from both teammates and opponents.
"Anfisa Reztsova will be beautifully remembered by her family, friends, and fans of her sports skills forever," the statement read.
A Unique legacy
Anfisa Reztsova holds the distinction of being the only athlete to have won Olympic gold in both skiing and biathlon. Her medals were earned at the Calgary and Albertville Olympics, cementing her legacy as one of Russia's most versatile athletes.
In recent years, Reztsova had been making headlines in Norway for criticizing Norwegian skiers. In 2020, she accused Tiril Eckhoff of doping.
She also criticized Norwegian athletes last winter for not wanting to compete with Russian and Belarusian athletes, calling them "disgusting cockroaches," according to Aftonbladet.