February 06, 2010

Russian skaters change costumes

Russian ice dancers changing controversial costuming [Updated]In the face of intense international criticism, Russian ice dancers Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin, the reigning world champions, are changing the costuming that has offended leaders of the Australian aboriginal community, the Tribune has learned.

Russian Figure Skating Federation President Valentin Piseev confirmed via telephone Friday that changes were being made before the Olympics. "I am aware of this [controversy]," he said.

Piseev said the team will keep the supposedly aboriginal music, which has been called inauthentic by aboriginal leaders. "The music is OK," he said.

Asked about the changes a couple minutes into a telephone conversation, Natalia Linichuk, the team's coach, abruptly replied she could not talk until after practice Friday.
Comment:  Another protest works. People are slowing learning that they can't get away with stereotyping indigenous people.

For more on the subject, see Russian Skaters Bad, Gaultier Good and Russian Skaters Should Rethink Routine.

Below:  Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin. (Ivan Sekretarev/Associated Press)

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