Belarusian Olympic sprinter Christina Czymnoskaya landed in Poland tonight (Wednesday), three days after she managed to escape an attempt by delegation leaders to force her to return to her homeland due to criticism leveled at them.
Zimnoskaya (24) left the Polish embassy in Japan this morning, where she had been staying for the past two nights, and boarded a flight from Narita Airport in Tokyo. She was supposed to fly directly to Poland, which granted her a humanitarian visa, but at the last minute changed flight with a stopover in Vienna for security reasons.
At noon, she landed in Vienna, but did not speak to reporters. A local source said she was tired and worried about her future, but she felt good even in the face of the complex circumstances. Shortly afterwards, the athlete continued on a LOT flight to Chopin Airport in Warsaw and is expected to reunite with her husband and child, who also received a humanitarian visa.
The drama began on Sunday when Zymnoskaya, who was supposed to represent her country in the 200.meter dash at the Olympics, asked for help from police at Tokyo airport. She said that the directors of the delegation demanded that she return to Israel after she published a post in which she expressed outrage that they had placed her in the 4X400 relay race without her knowledge after some of the participants did not come because they did not perform enough drug tests.
Zymnoskaya said she was afraid of returning to Belarus and wanted to seek political asylum in Europe. The flight left without her, after a few hours at the police station, she was transferred to the Polish Embassy in Tokyo. The International Olympic Committee also intervened in the affair and demanded that the Minsk authorities provide explanations.
The Olympic Committee of Belarus claimed in response that “in the context of the emotional and psychological state of the athlete Christina Ciminovskaya, the training team of the athletes decided to cancel her appearance at the Games”.
Meanwhile, the Belarusian athlete, Jana Maximba, who represented her country in the 7th at the London Olympics, and her husband Andrei Krochenka, who has a silver medal in the 10th at the Beijing Olympics, decided not to return to their homeland from their stay in Berlin. Maximba posted an Instagram post in which she said that the decision is related to the aggravating situation in a country where “anyone can lose not only freedom but also their life”.
“It is possible to breathe freely here and be among those who fight for the freedom of their people, relatives and loved ones,” she wrote in a post from Berlin, where she presented a photo of herself with her young son. “We will win for sure.”