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In brief: While plenty of athletes are video game fans, few like to display their passion quite like Vitalina Batsarashkina. The Russian just took gold at the Tokyo Olympics while wearing an iconic Witcher medallion.
As reported by Kotaku, Batsarashkina showed off her love of The Witcher back at the 2016 Rio Olympics when she competed in the 10m Air Pistol event with a wolf medallion hanging from her pants and some Witcher illustrations on her shooting glasses. She won silver five years ago, fittingly enough.
Olympic gold medalist 🏅 Vitalina Batsarashkina spotted wearing a witcher medallion. 🤩 Nice! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/rhQuJqv3Vv— Radek (@gamebowski) July 25, 2021
Over in Tokyo, Batsarashkina was brandishing the medallion around her neck as she beat second-place Antoaneta Kostadinova from Bulgaria, and China’s Jiang Ranxin, who won bronze. It’s noted that the gold winner sported a Wolf school pendant in 2016 but switched to a Cat school version for Tokyo.
As Russia is banned from taking part in the Olympics and Paralympics until December 17, 2022, over a state-sponsored doping program that was revealed in 2016, Batsarashkina is competing for the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) in Tokyo. The ban was initially set to last four years, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport reduced it to two years.
Batsarashkina in 2016
In other Witcher-related news, WitcherCon took place earlier this month, where CD Projekt Red and Netflix made some big announcements. These included the free update arriving later this year that optimizes The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S/X, season 2 of the Netflix show, and Blood Origin (also on Netflix).