Salome Trains in the Cold

I "stole" this picture from one of the Facebook fan pages devoted to gymnastics. It shows the Georgian star Salome Pazhava wearing layers of clothes because the gym where she prepares to dazzle us all doesn't have heat. It pains me to watch how, in the 21st century, an athlete of true world class and grace has to endure this kind of obstacle.

Meanwhile, we have compensated judges, international federation leaders, local federations, former stars. Isn't there someone who could lend a hand to help resolve this shameful situation?

Over the last couple of years Salome has brought a lot of excitement and a truly unique style to rhythmic gymnastics.. She is also the first Georgian to enter, with full force, a fight for the top 6 in Europe and in the World. I am certain that both other gymnasts and fans from around the world deeply value her contribution as an athlete and also as a performer. And as a dreamer. She and her coach have started from zero and have climbed very, very far.

Sometimes dreams may be enough to keep us warm. They are certainly enough to keep us going in times of adversity. But, at this stage of her career, this gymnast deserves a lot more than the fuel of her own dreams. So I still hope that whoever is responsible for heating this facility will do his or her job. Or that another gymnast will perhaps invite Salome to practice in a gym with normal temperature so that she can focus on finding new ways to surprise and inspire us.

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