Russia Olympic boss quits

Head of Russian Olympic Committee resigns after poor performance at Winter Games.

    Tyagachev was involved in Sochi's winning bid to host the Winter Games in 2014 [EPA]

    Leonid Tyagachev, the head of Russia's Olympic Committee, has resigned following the nation's poor performance at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, according to news reports.

    Tyagachev, a former sports minister, stepped down after Russia placed 11th in the overall team standings, taking home only three golds from their 15 medals overall, finishing well behind hosts Canada, who scooped a record 14 golds.

    The medal tally is Russia's worst achievement ever at the Winter Games, and Tyagachev's resignation follows threats by Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president, that officials responsible would be fired if they failed to resign voluntarily.

    Embarrassment

    In the 2006 Winter Olympics, Russia was placed in the top five, with 22 medals, including eight golds.

    In Vancouver, Russian Olympic officials had targeted 30 medals and a top-three finish in the medal standings.

    But the team's miserable performance came as an embarrassment to a country that is hosting the next Winter Olympics in 2014 in Sochi, a bid that Tyagachev was involved with.

    Medvedev had earlier in the week joined a growing chorus of criticism calling for the resignation of Olympic officials.

    "Those responsible should take the brave decision and sign a letter of resignation…if they can't we will help them," he said, saying the poor showing was the result of a lack of 'Soviet spirit'.

    "For a long time we have benefitted from Soviet achievements, at some point they ran out. We have lost the Soviet sports school, it is simply gone, but we have not formed our own system," he said.

    Russians had their hopes crushed when their ice hockey team, who were favourites for the final, lost in the quarter finals and Yevgeni Plushenko, their figure skating hero, controversially finished second to an American. 

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.