Irina Rodnina, Russia's three-time Olympic gold medalist figure skater and torch-bearer who lit the cauldron during the Opening Ceremony in Sochi, has apologized to President Barack Obama after coming under fire for a racist tweet she now says was the result of her account being hacked, according to Yahoo News.
Rodnina, who helped light the cauldron with hockey goalie Vladislav Tretiak on Friday, sparked criticism after the website Deadspin unearthed the 5-month-old tweet, which included the image of a banana superimposed over a picture of the president and first lady Michelle Obama.
Rodnina said she deleted the photo, which she said had been sent to her by friends in the United States, but in another tweet, she defended it. “Freedom of speech is freedom!” she wrote.
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