Kristina Timanovskaya is a Belarusian runner who was being forced to leave Tokyo by her country. The story began when Kristina angrily posted a rant on her Instagram to the Belarus Olympic Committee for choosing her to take part in 400m relay without her consent. This post was later deleted and replaced with a post stating that had they told her she would happily have taken part. The damage unfortunately was done. For context Belarus are governed by an authoritarian government and leader, Alexander Lukashenko. The post didn’t sit well with the higher-ups of the Olympic committee and as a result they forced her to come back to Belarus.
The BOC (Belarus Olympic Committee) have said that the reason for the call back “home” was that Kristina was suffering emotional and psychological pain. With the help of the Belarusian Sport Solidarity Foundation, Kristina has been posting videos of herself telling her fans and Olympics audiences that she is feeling good and has asked for the IOC to interfere.
❗️Kristina Timanovskaya asks the International Olympic Committee for help
«I am asking the International Olympic Committee for help,pressure has been put on me and they are trying to take me out of the country without my consent,so I am asking the @iocmedia to intervene in this» pic.twitter.com/W0TlSzI0Bh
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) August 1, 2021
Hearing all this news, many countries have reached to Kristina offering her asylum. Poland have gone one step further granting her a humanitarian visa in order for her to continue running. Her husband had to escape Belarus out of fear and is now in Kiev, but is supposed to be reunited with his wife in Poland. She is now safe, staying at the Polish embassy in Japan waiting for her next steps.