Russian president Vladimir Putin stopped by the USA and Canada Houses in Sochi on Friday, drawing plenty of attention from smartphone-wielding athletes. One of them was Canadian speedskater Brittany Schussler, who took advantage of her proximity to Putin to snap a selfie.
Schussler later tweeted the picture to her followers with the message "I should've asked him to be my Valentine," but was soon met with strong criticism. Enough criticism that Schussler felt compelled to delete the tweet and explain herself to a Canadian newspaper.
.@WinnipegNews I see you put up my tweet pic w/ Putin. To be clear I was joking + in no way want to be misconstrued as supporting his values
— Brittany Schussler (@bschussler) February 15, 2014
Schussler's clarification did not do much for some people:
— K McCallum (@thenthereskeith) February 15, 2014
Schussler wasn't the only one drawing flak as plenty leveled heat at the USA and Canadian Houses for putting politics aside and welcoming Putin in the name of sport. ("Good luck, except in hockey," Putin reportedly said during his Canadian visit.)
She did, however, become one of the biggest targets for people who don't approve of hobnobbing with someone with Putin's human rights record.
What did you think of the tweet and picture?
Out of bounds or part of the Sochi experience?
- Brittany Schussler