Olympic torchbearer’s controversial Obama tweet

Irina Rodnina (front) and Vladislav Tretyak light the Olympic cauldron during Friday's ceremony.

Matt Slocum/AP

The Sochi Olympics Opening Ceremony concluded, as usual, with the lighting of the Olympic cauldron. 

But it turns out one of the athletes who actually lit the flame, Irina Rodnina — a celebrated Russian figure skater who’s lived in the United States and once trained Michelle Kwan — was also accused of racism when she apparently Tweeted this doctored picture of President Barack Obama last year. 

A Guardian article last September said "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." 

The piece also went on to say that Rodnina deleted the Twitter post "but has not apologised and remains unfazed by accusations of racism."

As of press time, @lRodnina remains silent, other than Tweeting a grateful response to those congratulating her on lighting the Olympic flame.  

H/t to Deadspin for the story.