Vivien Papp's decision to split from the Hungarian federation

Sylvia

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Copying out Vivien Papp's multi-part Instagram post today (Sept. 25, 2022); she posted in Hungarian too - this is the version in English: https://www.instagram.com/p/Ci7T3sPApP9/
Her ISU bio: http://www.isuresults.com/bios/isufs00110465.htm

Dear Friends,
Although I am only 14 years old, a huge change is happening in my life again. As you know, I started skating 8 years ago and almost from the moment I stepped on the ice, I feel that this is my path and this is the big dream of my life, to be an Olympic champion. Since I started skating late, I gave up everything and concentrated only on this. Actually, my life is about skating and learning!♥️ I enjoy every second, even if it is often very, very difficult. My heart and soul belong entirely to figure skating!♥️ I have decided that no matter what happens, I will work extremely hard and at any cost until I reach the Olympic champion title! Since I was 6 years old, I've been dreaming of standing on top of the podium and hearing the Hungarian national anthem because of me!🇭🇺Unfortunately, it was decided on Friday night that I cannot continue to compete in Hungarian colors. The reason is very simple, it is more important for the Hungarian association to quickly sign a 22-page contract, in which unfortunately I do not receive any support that I could use for my development, but they want to impose an incredible number of obligations on me, and I have to give up almost all my rights, and not only the association for the benefit but also for the benefit of a foreign company.

My parents have been fighting for me beyond their strength for 5 years, because this fight has been going on with the association for 5 years. Unfortunately, they already told me that if I became a junior, they would make it impossible for me, but as a competitor, I didn't believe that. For me, my dream and goal have not changed and will not, and I will achieve what I want! 🏆 There are so many changes that unfortunately I won't be representing another country in Hungarian colors, where I will be warmly welcomed and appreciated, and I will actually receive financial support. I brought more than 100 gold medals to the Hungarian association from international competitions, I won 8th and 9th place in the world cup / jgp / 3 junior international competitions and sang the Hungarian national anthem, which hadn't happened in such a long time! I was only 13 years old and the youngest in the field. I also became junior Hungarian champion.🇭🇺♥️

I am very grateful to @norahoffmann who stands by me as the only Hungarian coach and I know she always will!♥️ I am unspeakably grateful to @angelinaturenko with whom we have been working together for the fifth year, she is always with me in both joy and sorrow and as you always say step by step we move forward and together we believe we will reach the top!!!!♥️🏆♥️ and then we cry and laugh in each other's arms♥️🏆♥️, to @iceyeva , @alisamikonsaari ,@lorenz.magri, @barborasilna and the entire @young.goose.academy.official who accepted and teach in 2021 and we go up the stairs together! To my sports psychologist and his colleagues for the help and patience they give me so that I can cope with this very difficult situation and help me through these unfair situations, that there is indeed a way out of everything! In short, I thank everyone for everything they have done in my direction, because with every little thing I get ahead! There are a few more people who are very close to my heart, I'm sending this to them♥️🏆♥️ but I can't name them at the moment, but they know exactly that my heart is for them and they will be with me on the top of the podium♥️🏆♥️ Thank you!

But unfortunately, this still wasn't enough to earn me respect! We never asked for any financial support and we never received it! That's why I gave my country no less, all my knowledge and heart!♥️ But unfortunately, this is not what is important to the current management, but that they impose all kinds of obligations on me, for example, they determine where and with whom I train! I am very grateful to my parents for fighting beyond their means and trying to protect me from all kinds of adult tactics!♥️ My coaches stand by me 100% and we made our decision together that we cannot accept the obligations presented to us and this was supported by our lawyers! We received the contract the day before the test competition and we tried to reach a common agree until September 23rd, but it didn't work. 😭 The last ugly decision of the Hungarian association was that from the Gdansk junior grand prix competition was my name DELETED!!!!! This also proves that me and my career are not important to them, only their own interests and power! I will not be upset because I know that I earned this Junior World Cup [note: she means JGP Gdansk #1 next week] competition by winning the test competition, but the association is not interested in this, even if it is not described in their rules. Only us competitors have to follow rules, not others. So it's time to say goodbye, thank you very much to everyone who supported me and stood by me and always supported me on this very difficult road! Of course, I will continue working from tomorrow and you will see me at competitions in October, and my heart will remain Hungarian, only next to my name will be the flag of another country, who is grateful that I am coming to them!! My heart is forever Hungarian🇭🇺,I consider Hungary to be my country, but I will continue my sports career somewhere else! THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING!♥️♥️♥️



Background articles in Hungarian dated Sept. 8, 2022:

ETA link to an telex.hu's English version, dated Sept. 12:
Excerpt:
At the International Skating Union's (ISU) junior grand prix competition to be held at the end of September, there will be four athletes competing under the Hungarian flag. However, neither they nor the captain of the federation were born in Hungary: Polina Dzhumanyiatsova is from Moscow, Alexander Vlasenko is from Siberia and ice dancers Mark Shapiro and Maya Benkiewicz are both from Moscow as well. Even Gurgen Vardanjan, the director of the figure skating branch of the Hungarian National Skating Federation (MOKSZ), is not of Hungarian origin but was born in Armenia.
While it is not unusual in Hungarian figure skating for foreigners to take to the ice, one competitor told the paper anonymously that "there is a kind of new Russian base being built under Vardanjan's leadership, where Hungarians are more and more treated as decoration.”

Machine translated headline - "Russian invasion of the domestic skating sport - a Hungarian has already been forced to change her country":

Re-posting from the OES News thread:
Results of Hungarian test skates, held in mid-August, are here:
...
Lakernik was there as technical controller for single events.
 
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Frau Muller

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For a country that is so proud of its unique heritage - not to say nationalistic - this is truly baffling. I can see it happening with a couple, as can often occur, but a singles discipline?
 

Karen-W

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Wonder if Pavlova/Nagy's split was in any way related to these maneuverings from the Hungarian federation ....
If there was some new "Hungarian" pairs team that hailed from that Hungarian enclave in Perm, then perhaps, but there's no new Hungarian pairs team popping up on the horizon, not even on the junior level.
 

clairecloutier

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If there was some new "Hungarian" pairs team that hailed from that Hungarian enclave in Perm, then perhaps, but there's no new Hungarian pairs team popping up on the horizon, not even on the junior level.

Yes but I just wonder if there could have been other things going on than just replacing them with Russians--things like mandating which coaches they worked with (Papp mentioned that), meddling in details of training or whatever, or various things they had to do to get funding. All just speculation, of course.
 

Sylvia

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Machine translated headline - "Russian invasion of the domestic skating sport - a Hungarian has already been forced to change her country":
Machine translated excerpts:
The future has begun: at the figure skating and ice dance world competitions this year, far more Russian-born athletes will compete in HUN colors than Hungarians. The push-out has escalated to the point that the biggest hope of our winter Olympic success, Papp Vivien, is forced to change countries - we know that she received offers from three places. The key players in the "Russianization" are: sports director Vardanjan Gurgen, federation president Lajos Kósa, and the association of European champion Júlia Sebestyén (behind her with her husband, who is also an influential Fidesz politician).
We asked Vardanjan Gurgen: does he consider it normal, that the Hungarians will be in the minority among the red-white-green starters of the ISU competitions? Where and when did you get your doctorate (this information is painfully missing from your biographies available in English, Russian, Armenian and Hungarian)? Who authorized him to openly criticize the actions of the ISU and take a stand in favor of Russian interests as the head of MOKSZ? Do you know that Papp Vivien is preparing to change countries? What did you do to avoid this step and keep the athlete for the Hungarian national team?
The stakeholders did not attempt to answer the questions we sent by e-mail either verbally or in writing, so we could only present the results of our conversations with dozens of other stakeholders to our readers.
The article also mentions that Mozes Jozsef Berei, 18 (http://www.isuresults.com/bios/isufs00107857.htm), "has now left SKSE [Sebestyén Skating Sport Association group], as Júlia Sebestyén also favored the Russians over him." The Russian brothers are Aleksandr Vlasenko, 18 (http://www.isuresults.com/bios/isufs00106762.htm), and Aleksei Vlasenko, 15 (http://www.isuresults.com/bios/isufs00110570.htm).
Berei recently switched to coaches at the Young Goose Academy in Egna, Italy (where Papp is based) four years after having returned from Austria to represent Hungary - the photo in the Hungarian federation's "Came home" article in October 2018 where he is pictured with his then new coach Julia Sebestyen (http://hunskate.hu/hirek/mukorcsolya/hazatert) also is included in this article.
 
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Karen-W

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Yes but I just wonder if there could have been other things going on than just replacing them with Russians--things like mandating which coaches they worked with (Papp mentioned that), meddling in details of training or whatever, or various things they had to do to get funding. All just speculation, of course.
Could be. I was a bit disappointed they didn't continue beyond last season. They showed good potential.
 

Sylvia

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Ioulia Chtchetinina and Maria Pavlova are both listed on the Hungarian national team without partners, coached by Dmitri Savin and Fedor Klimov:
(Papp is still listed for now.)

ETA: Wasn't Pavlova skating with Alexei Sviatchenko this summer? From the Russian news thread on April 20, 2022:
Quoting myself, it seems that Kostiukovich/Sviatchenko did not work out, because another gossip says that Sviatchenko went to Sochi to skate with Marie Pavlova. She was skating for Hungary. I wonder if she already received citizenship. If she did, Pavlova/Sviatchenko could skate for Hungary.
Maria Pavlova obtained Hungarian citizenship back in February, according to this post of hers: https://www.instagram.com/p/CZuQ8oHI-N8/
ETA #2 - here's Pavlova's group photo (with Sviatchenko, Akopova/Rakhmanin & Danilova/Tsiba and coaches) dated July 31 in Sochi: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cgr9-RVI7lv/
 
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Frau Muller

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Ironically, Hungary has had closer ties with Ukraine than with Russia/USSR Era….lots of ethnic Hungarians living in western Ukraine (Lviv area, for ex).
 

Kateri

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I don't understand this at all, as in, literally. She said it's been going on for 5 years, so it can't just be a recent Russian influx, it sounded like she had major issues with her fed for ages.
 

airgelaal

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Ironically, Hungary has had closer ties with Ukraine than with Russia/USSR Era….lots of ethnic Hungarians living in western Ukraine (Lviv area, for ex).
It is ironic that, for example, in the Ukrainian biathlon federation before the war, the situation was identical. I've read the articles and it's full of déjà vu. I don’t understand why the presidents of the federations have such a maniacal desire to support russian athletes when they have their own.
 

Holy Headband

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Recently, Hungarian chess player Richard Rapport also switched federations to Romania due to a lack of support from the Hungarian chess federation, and there was another high-profile example in a different sport I'm forgetting. I wonder if these are all related, or influenced by similar factors.

In any case, I think it's clear from Papp's statement her decision was motivated by more than a Russian takeover of the Hungarian FS federation, which is the more sensationalist spin that was put on this news in the Hungarian media. But at the same time, the Lakernik connection and the influx of Russian skaters are both real too.
 

2sk8

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Follow the money, and you will see this happens in WAY TOO MANY other federations, even large "powerful" ones where you would not expect it be the case. Controlling who the coaches are, who the partners are, the ability of older skaters to make a lving and get sponsosrhsips, and more. Yes, I can understnd how fans might not believe this, but it is true. My heart hurts for a young teenage girl who is harmed by this, as so many others have been. I hope she finds a federation that will honestly support her, and that the "cost" (no, I don't just mean monetary) will be worth it.
 

euterpe

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I personally remember the 1956 Hungarian revolt and its suppression by Russian troops and tanks pouring into Hungary, culminating in 20,000 deaths. I find it shocking that Hungary allows Russian interference in Hungarian sports.

I hope that Vivian Papp and the other displaced Hungarian skaters find successful careers in other countries.
 

PRlady

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I personally remember the 1956 Hungarian revolt and its suppression by Russian troops and tanks pouring into Hungary, culminating in 20,000 deaths. I find it shocking that Hungary allows Russian interference in Hungarian sports.

I hope that Vivian Papp and the other displaced Hungarian skaters find successful careers in other countries.
Orban certainly doesn’t care, he’s Putin’s best buddy in Europe.
 

Frau Muller

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I personally remember the 1956 Hungarian revolt and its suppression by Russian troops and tanks pouring into Hungary, culminating in 20,000 deaths. I find it shocking that Hungary allows Russian interference in Hungarian sports.
Exactly my point earlier. What the Hungarian skating federation has allowed makes me vomit. The current Orban Gvt (Fidesz party) is supposed to be ultra-conservative, including people related to the anti-communist 1956 freedom fighters, their children & grandchildren. Orban and the Russians? Strange bedfellows. Or does money outweigh history now?
 
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4rkidz

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Exactly my point earlier. What the Hungarian skating federation has allowed makes me vomit. The current Orban Gvt (Fidesz party) is supposed to be ultra-conservative, including people related to the anti-communist 1956 freedom fighters, their children & grandchildren. Orban and the Russians? Strange bedfellows. Or does money outweigh history now?
makes total sense to me, Putin's biggest supporters have been the ultra conservatives as that segment includes the white nationalists that adore him, same in Hungary.
 

Frau Muller

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makes total sense to me, Putin's biggest supporters have been the ultra conservatives as that segment includes the white nationalists that adore him, same in Hungary.
But Hungary is proudly conservative for Hungarians. Even my many friends still there - all for Hungarian-Magyar pride. They would be shocked by this idiocy.
 

Frau Muller

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Sebestyen is married to a Hungarian, not a Russian. Hungarians are religious (Western Catholic; not Eastern Orthodox), which is why Orban is adored - deal with it, people. Not every population on earth kowtows to liberalism. Many prefer traditional families & values. But that doesn’t make a Russian a Hungarian.
 

4rkidz

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But Hungary is proudly conservative for Hungarians. Even my many friends still there - all for Hungarian-Magyar pride. They would be shocked by this idiocy.
they are likely regular conservatives - as opposed to the ultra right wing - its like here or in the States - once you go passed the 'normal' all bets are off. Let us hope that people like your friends make their voices known.
 

airgelaal

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Sebestyen is married to a Hungarian, not a Russian. Hungarians are religious (Western Catholic; not Eastern Orthodox), which is why Orban is adored - deal with it, people. Not every population on earth kowtows to liberalism. Many prefer traditional families & values. But that doesn’t make a Russian a Hungarian.
People in western Ukraine are also very religious and that is why they hate russians even more. Poland is also very religious. I don't see the connection.
 

Frau Muller

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they are likely regular conservatives - as opposed to the ultra right wing - its like here or in the States - once you go passed the 'normal' all bets are off. Let us hope that people like your friends make their voices known.

They are…and they will do more, as I’ve forwarded to them the Papp family FB posts.

There are Philistines in all countries… placing 💰 above principles … taking advantage of sad situations to wheel and deal in human-trafficking of a sort. But that doesn’t make all people of those countries bad.
 

Holy Headband

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Sebestyen is married to a Hungarian, not a Russian. Hungarians are religious (Western Catholic; not Eastern Orthodox), which is why Orban is adored - deal with it, people. Not every population on earth kowtows to liberalism. Many prefer traditional families & values. But that doesn’t make a Russian a Hungarian.
Uh, I've known many Hungarians and none of them has been particularly religious or enamoured with 'traditional values.'

The fact Orban is still in power in Hungary doesn't mean that the entire population agrees with his ideology. Hungary is a politically diverse society where different groups have very different visions for their country's future. In fact, even his own voters are increasingly ambivalent toward many of Orban's policies.

Just because a particular politician has managed to entrench his power in a country doesn't mean that country's population should be stereotyped as a perfect reflection of his views.
 

PRlady

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Sebestyen is married to a Hungarian, not a Russian. Hungarians are religious (Western Catholic; not Eastern Orthodox), which is why Orban is adored - deal with it, people. Not every population on earth kowtows to liberalism. Many prefer traditional families & values. But that doesn’t make a Russian a Hungarian.
Orban is also an open antisemite and Netanyahu and Israel’s far right cozy up to him. The international alliance of nationalist populists transcends history and past sins.

Not that the US now doesn’t hold its nose and collaborate with anti-democratic governments when we need to, as with Poland.
 

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