Did your exclusion from the Olympics and all that followed make you greater than Olympic gold?
Maybe yes, I think so. But I didn’t want to, I wanted to win the Olympics. Injustice bothers me to this day.
In 2014 I was Vladimir Putin’s advisor for the Winter Games in Sochi. How did you meet him, are you still in touch?
Yes, we are still in touch. Friendly contact. We got to know each other at the world championships in St. Anton, after which we went skiing together. Later he wanted me to come to Russia.
Is it true that you did gymnastics with Putin?
Yes, we were in the Kremlin with him in his office. He said his back hurt so bad, so I said I knew some exercises. So we took off our jackets and lay on the floor and did gymnastics.
How can one imagine these deliberations of the Russian president?
He sent me a jet plane to Innsbruck and I flew to Moscow. I told him he would have to explain the Olympics to me. I asked for a one-on-one interview, and that’s what I got. Then I told him five points he must comply with.
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