The former Russian figure skater that lit the Olympic flame during the Sochi opening ceremony has deleted a racist photo of President and Mrs Obama that she had previously posted.
Irina Rodnina is a triple Olympic champion figure skater and is close with Russian President Vladimir Putin so it came as little surprise that she was chosen to be one of the two athletes to have the key role in the opening ceremony.
A scouring of her Twitter account by The Guardian found that she had posted a photo of Mr and Mrs Obama looking at someone who was holding up a banana, which has racist implications.
After being questioned about the photo, the 65-year-old former politician said that there was nothing wrong with the image and refused to apologize for posting it.
She said that she had been sent the photo from friends in America, and used their rights as a reason to justify her use of the photo.
‘Freedom of speech is freedom of speech, and you should answer for your own hang-ups,’ she wrote according to The Guardian.
The American government didn’t see it the same way, as the outgoing American ambassador to Russia posted to his own Twitter account, saying that Ms Rodnina’s ‘outrageous behaviour… only brings shame to her parliament and country’.