Russian Figure Skater Apologizes For Racist Obama Tweet, Now Blames Hackers

ASSOCIATED PRESS

A Russian figure skating champion who lit the Winter Olympic cauldron at the opening ceremony in Sochi on Friday apologized for a racist tweet that included a photo of President Obama, claiming that her account was hacked.

In September 2013 Irina Rodnina, an MP from Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party and a triple Olympic champion figure-skater, tweeted a photo of Obama with a banana photoshopped into the foreground. Bananas are often used to taunt black athletes in Russia, according to the Guardian.

At the time, Rodnina defended the tweet and said she received the photo from friends in America.

“Freedom of speech is freedom of speech, and you should answer for your own hang-ups,” she wrote.

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