Russian Speed Skater Apologizes After Flashing Middle Fingers Following Victory Over Team USA

Daniil Aldoshkin of the Russian Olympic Committee apologized for the gesture following the men's team pursuit speed skating semifinals on Tuesday

Daniil Aldoshkin
Photo: Ashley Landis/AP/Shutterstock

Russian Olympic Committee speed skater Daniil Aldoshkin is apologizing for flashing his middle fingers following the men's team pursuit semifinals at the 2022 Winter Olympics Tuesday.

After defeating Team USA and securing a spot in the gold medal race, Aldoshkin, 20 — who was racing alongside teammates Ruslan Zakharov and Sergey Trofimov — displayed the gesture in celebration.

The speed skater later made a public apology, assuring it wasn't directed at anyone.

"I threw up my hands," Aldoshkin said following the race, reported. "I have the first medal, the first Olympics. I didn't mean anything like that. I'm sorry if this offended anyone."

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Daniil Aldoshkin
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Alexei Kravtsov, president of the Russian Skating Union, also released a statement apologizing for the speed skater's actions, clarifying that it was simply an "outburst of emotion."

"Today was a very emotional day for our team. Daniil is a debutant of the Games, he has the first Olympic medal in his career. In the semifinals, the team set an Olympic record. It was an outburst of emotion," Kravtsov said, per the outlet.

"We talked with the athlete, he made a statement at a press conference. Emotions took over at the finish line, there was no subtext in this action," he added. "We are sorry if someone differently perceived this situation and [it] offended someone. On behalf of the Russian Skating Union, we offer our official apologies."

The ROC finished the event with a bronze medal, falling to Norway, who snagged the gold medal with a time of 3:38.08. Team USA — made up of Ethan Cepuran, Casey Dawson, Emery Lehman and Joey Mantia — claimed the bronze medal after defeating the Netherlands.

To learn more about Team USA, visit Watch the Winter Olympics, now, and the Paralympics, beginning March 4, on NBC.

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