Figure skating icon defends Zagitova after bikini video backlash
Iconic Russian figure skating coach Tatiana Tarasova has dismissed a furor surrounding Olympic figure skating champion Alina Zagitova as “nonsense” after the star shared a video of herself swaying seductively in a black bikini.
Zagitova scooped gold at PyeongChang Games in 2018 but has since put her competitive skating career on hold.
The 19-year-old dazzled some of her TikTok following this week with a video from Dubai in which she swayed from side to side in a black bikini while stroking her arms upwards from her thighs.
Алина + Дубай = 😍🔥😍🔥😍🔥😍📹 тикток Загитовой pic.twitter.com/tXCXEThGdC— Матч ТВ (@MatchTV) December 2, 2021
The clip earned Zagitova gushing praise from many of her adoring fans.
“Alina Zagitova is ready to melt the ice in Dubai,” one person wrote, while another dubbed her "million-dollar baby."
“Gorgeous,” read another compliment.
However, it wasn't all affection for the skating queen as she drew accusations from some quarters that she was flaunting herself a bit too much – and that she could even offend Muslims in the Tatarstan homeland of her father.
“Alina, why? You're beautiful and with a figure too. But to put it on public display... Why don’t your parents teach you?” read one comment shared by Russian outlet Championat.
“Alina, don't turn into an [Instagram model],” read another biting remark.
Amid the criticism the video then disappeared from Zagitova's account.
But one person with little time for the detractors was 74-year-old Tarasova, who has tutored a lengthy list of skaters to Olympic and World Championship glory down the years.
When asked by Sport-Express about the backlash over the clip, the 74-year-old responded: “Criticism towards Zagitova? Why, because you can't film yourself in a swimsuit?
“I don't want to pay attention to s**t like that, people have nothing better to do,” added the straight-talking icon.
Zagitova is currently in the UAE, where she is taking part in a performance of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ presented by former Olympic ice dancing champion Tatiana Navka.
Zagitova has not officially retired from competitive figure skating but suspended her career in December of 2019.
She has since focused on her education as well as appearing on popular TV shows in her homeland including ‘Ice Age’, where she presents alongside fellow former Olympic champion Alexei Yagudin.
Zagitova has taken part in exhibition shows and is active on social media, boasting almost 200,000 followers on TikTok and 919,000 on Instagram.