If there’s ever a perfect time to show off your love and appreciation for your favorite media franchise, competing in the Olympics might just take the gold. Back in 2016, The Witcher superfan Vitalina Batsarashkina made news for sporting gear from the popular book-turned-game-turned Netflix series when she took home silver in the 10m air pistol competition at the Rio Olympics. However, this year she ditched Geralt’s signature metal to win gold.
Still clad with her Witcher-decorated gun and wolf medallion, Batsarashkina managed to beat out Bulgaria’s Antoaneta Kostadinova and China’s Jiang Ranxin, who earned silver and bronze respectively. Batsarashkina’s gold medal marks the first for the Russian Olympic Committee (or ROC) at the Tokyo games. However, it’s important to note the ROC isn’t technically representing Russia, despite featuring all Russian athletes.
Rather the ROC was created to get around Russia’s ban from the Olympics after the country was found guilty of systematically doping their athletes during previous events. A report by NBC went into more detail on the ROC as well as Russia’s ban — including how it’s actually been greatly reduced:
Russia received a two-year ban from the World Anti-Doping Agency for its state-sponsored doping program. Between December 17, 2020, and December 17, 2022, no athlete can represent Russia at the Olympics, Paralympics or World Championships. The ban was originally set to last four years, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport reduced it to two years. The state-sponsored doping program was revealed in 2016 and included at least 15 medal winners from the 2014 Olympics, held in Sochi, Russia.
However, regardless of what country is technically taking home gold, the real winner is Batsarashkina, and we know a Witcher would toss a coin to her after that performance.