Snowboarder Victor Wild was born and raised in the town of White Salmon, Washington. However, NBC columnist Nick Zaccardi wrote, the athlete will be competing for Russia, rather than for the United States at the Olympic Games in Sochi. He will become the first American to defend the colors of the Russian flag at the Winter Olympics, and the third U.S. citizen to act so, taking into account the Summer Olympic Games.
Slalom, Zaccardi wrote, is the only Olympic discipline in snowboarding, which is not a part of the annual Winter extreme sports. Therefore, sponsors are hard to find in the U.S..
Wild, being unhappy with his results and the lack of financial support from the United States, was about to retire from the sport. "There [in the U.S.] they did not want to help me much," Wild said in a telephone conversation. "The United States was not interested in all this," he said.
Commenting on the change of his citizenship, Wilde said in an interview with NBC that now he considered himself a Russian, rather than an American. "I do not think of myself as an American. I am Russian. Maybe I am not fluent in Russian, and I do not fully understand the culture of this country, but I live here. I'm not an American guy, who lives in America and wants to snowboard for Russia just because it's easier. Quite on the contrary - I chose a hard way to go."
Try to guess what kind of comments the news has been getting on Russian websites and social networks. There are many positive comments, of course, from common people - "Well done," "Good choice" and "Good luck", etc. However, comments from political opposition are completely different. Some commenters wrote that Wild stayed in Russia for money, and all his remarks about his Russian citizenship were nothing but a cover up. Some even wrote that Vic Wild was an idiot, who swapped the citizenship of the world's best sports country to the Russian one.
Just try to image how one can hate their country, even though they, for some reason, do not refuse from the passport of this country. Wild will be competing for Russia, not for the "regime."
We can only wish Vic good luck at the Games in Sochi. We hope that the Russian flag will bring the man very good luck, no matter what nutters may say.