Pyotr Gumennik He started learning to skate in 2006, when he was 4 years old. At that time, the German industrial music band Rammstein He had been acting for 12 years and Ukraine was on its third president, but both names have crossed his path. The Sports Ministry let Gumennik know this month that it would be better for him to change his program, choreographed to the rhythm of a Rammstein song, because this band has criticized the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The music chosen by the young skater has been described as “anti-patriotic” for a complaint filed with the government.
Perhaps Gumennik, 21, hasn’t been following the news or is unaware of the patriotic furor engulfing his country. During the last months the lead singer of the German group, Till Lindemann, has openly supported Ukraine. Furthermore, as some Russian deputies have lamented, the name of the group coincides with that of the air base where NATO generals discuss the supply of weapons to Kiev.
Gumennik wanted to perform at the Russian national team skating trials with the song Sonne. On September 16, the athlete announced that he had had to abandon the idea of performing with the music of the German group for reasons beyond his control, because they did not allow him to play that piece. He himself found out about it the day before leaving for the tests, without another rehearsed choreography, and had to urgently switch to last year’s program: Dawn of Faith from the Eternal Eclipse string ensemble.
Important figures in the world of figure skating supported Gumennik or expressed their regret about the situation. “Banning English or German speaking groups is nonsense. Many artists have ambivalent attitudes towards our country. “Elton John lives with a man, so now we won’t listen to his songs?”said sports commentator and host of “patriotic” and pro-war events Dimitri Guberniev.
Other skaters, on the contrary, have asked that the issue be vetoed. Gumennik’s coach, Veronika Daineko, said that Tamara Moskvina, a coach and one of the heads of the St. Petersburg federation, approached her and showed her a letter saying that skating to that music is not patriotic. It was signed by Evgeny Kartushin, administrator of the fan community of another skater, Sofia Samodelkina.