Russian Olympic hero leads brigade at Victory Day parade
Russian Olympic champ Nikita Nagornyy led the Victory Day procession at Red Square
Russian Olympic gold medalist Nikita Nagornyy, who took the top prize in his gymnastics category at the 2020 Games in Tokyo, helped lead the annual Victory Day celebrations at Red Square on Monday.
Nagornyy, 25, is considered to be among the finest gymnasts of his generation and is a central figure in the Junarmia, the all-Russian youth patriotic association.
Victory Day commemorates the Soviet Union's victory against Nazi Germany at World War II.
Nagorny participation at the event means that he has been forced to delay his arrival at the national gymnastics training camp at the Krugloye Lake base.
“So this day has come, this sacred holiday dedicated to the victory in the Great Patriotic War!” quotes attributed to Nagornyy on Telegram read, via translation.
“77 years ago, our ancestors won freedom for us, and on this day we say thank you for the feat that they did in those years.
“We remember. We honor. We will never forget. May 9 this year is the most special for me, because finally I will pass in a friendly formation along Red Square during the Victory Parade! Yes, friends, I will participate in the Parade!
“So come, turn on, look, see you there.”
Nagornyy's wife Daria Spiridonova, herself a well-regarded artistic gymnast, was also in the crowd to mark the celebrations.
Spiridonova claimed gold in the World and European championships in 2015 as well as claiming a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.