Kamila Valieva’s Beijing experience summed up the complicated nature of the Olympic ideal (Pic: Getty Images.)
You had to feel for teenage Russian figure-skating star Kamila Valieva as she slipped or fell at least four times in the free program and missed out on an Olympic medal of any kind having been favorite for gold.
Sure, she shouldn’t have been competing at all, having failed a drugs test after the team skating event last week. But, at the end of the day, she’s a 15-year-old child who has been let down by the adults who control her life in full gaze of a global audience – and it was heartbreaking to watch her devastated and in tears after her fateful performance.
One can only imagine the pressure she has been under over the past few days. Already considered one of the greatest figure skaters of the modern era despite her tender years, she was clearly the most talented competitor in the field. But what should have been a triumph that…