An American Olympic rower went after the Russian silver medalists Thursday, saying they “shouldn’t even be here.”
Megan Kalmoe, a four-time Olympian, tweeted her frustration at the Russian Olympic Committee winning silver in the women’s rowing final, writing, “Seeing a crew who shouldn’t even be here walk away with a silver is a nasty feeling.”
“Really disappointing overall, and I feel for the other athletes in the A Final. Big love to all my friends and frenemies who gave it everything out there.”
Seeing a crew who shouldn’t even be here walk away with a silver is a nasty feeling. Really disappointing overall and I feel for the other athletes in the A Final. Big love to all my friends and frenemies who gave it everything out there.
— Megan Kalmoe (@megankalmoe) July 29, 2021
Currently, no athlete can represent the Russian Federation because it received a two-year ban from the World Anti-Doping Agency for its state-sponsored doping program at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Athletes cannot wear the Russian flag or any other national symbol on their uniforms while competing, according to NBC.
Kalmoe and her rowing partner Tracy Eissner placed fifth in the semifinals, with the Russian women taking second to advance to the finals.
— USRowing (@usrowing) July 28, 2021
The Olympian expanded on her frustration, telling row2k.com, “having them walk away with one of the medals was really hard for me to watch.”
“I don’t think they should have been here, and there are a lot of women here that I think were very qualified to win one of those medals,” Kalmoe added. (RELATED: Report: Russian Olympic Medalist Tests Positive For Doping)
Eissner defended her teammate’s outspoken attitude saying, “I know that she is not a person to keep her mouth shut or keep her opinions to herself, but it’s something that I respect about her, because I think there are a lot of people who have these thoughts, but they don’t want to say things — not just on this, but a lot of subjects — because they don’t want to upset people or cause any trouble.”
“Being able to be honest, and maybe a little blunt and stick up for what she thinks is right is something that Kalmoe does really well. Not to be afraid of what people think or to make herself smaller is something I admire,” Eissner concluded.