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Anton Kushnir thanks Belarus' president for support of Olympians in PyeongChang

In an interview with Belarus 1 TV Channel, Sochi 2014 Olympic champion Anton Kushnir thanked Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko for the support of Team Belarus at the Olympic Games in PyeongChang, BelTA has learned.

“I am grateful to Alexander Grigoryevich [Lukashenko], who defended the honor of the country in a very decent manner and supported our team, me,” said Anton Kushnir. The athlete noted that he has always had a great respect for the head of state. The Olympic champion is confident that the steps that were taken after such a biased and unfair judging positively affected the image of Belarus.

“We did not give up, we defended our country, our interests,” he said about the conversation between the representatives of the Belarusian team and the judges.

When asked if the athlete was going to perform his famous jump with the highest coefficient of complexity if he was to reach the finals, Anton Kushnir replied: "I was going to do it.” Keeping in mind the fact that Belarus wins medals in every Olympic aerials event, the Sochi champion did not rule out that in the future Belarusian judges could make part of the panel of judges, including at the Olympic Games.

Anton Kushnir congratulated aerials skier Anna Guskova and biathlete Darya Domracheva with the medals won at the Games.

As BelTA earlier reported, Anton Kushnir scored 120.80 for his Back Full-Double Full-Full jump to place 11th in PyeongChang Men's Aerials Qualification 1. Anton Kushnir's jump was not appreciated by the judges, although after that many athletes and experts admitted that the attempt was worth at least 126 points and the finals. In the second attempt, Anton Kushnir increased the difficulty to Back Double Full-Full-Full.

The jump was clean but the score was only 121.27 which placed the Belarusian 7th, which was not enough for the athlete to advance to the finals.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko sent a complaint to President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach about the judging of Anton Kushnir.

“The Belarusian sports community, and also representatives of the international community, leading athletes and freestyle skiing experts agree that such a decision was aimed at removing one of the world-class leaders from the finals,” the letter said.