Irina Rodnina, a former figure skater from Russia, may now go down in Olympic history as a pretty racist lady.
Rodnina, who is also a current member of Russia’s public chamber, had the honor of lighting the Olympic flame during today's opening ceremonies, sent a racist tweet of a picture of President Obama and the First Lady with a banana being held out in front of them last September, according to Deadspin.com.
The tweet was quickly deleted by Rodnina, who has not apologized for posting the image.
The Guardian added this from Rodnina to the mix:
Rodnina insisted that there was nothing wrong with the photograph, and said she had been sent it by friends in America. "Freedom of speech is freedom of speech, and you should answer for your own hang-ups," she wrote.
Rodnina, who lived in the US for many years, deleted the photograph but has not apologised and remains unfazed by accusations of racism. Instead, she suggested that the wave of criticism she prompted from liberal journalists and other Russians was a conspiracy.
See the photo below.