FACT CHECK: Is This Ice Dancer Blind?
A video shared on Facebook purportedly shows a blind male ice dancer participating in a competition with his partner.
There are no credible reports indicating the male performer is blind.
In the Facebook post’s footage, a man and woman can be seen participating in an ice dancing competition. Text in the video identifies them as Russian ice dancers Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin. The pair recently took second place in the free dance event at the 2022 European Figure Skating Championships, NBC Sports reported.
“This is amazing, the male dancer is totally blind!” the caption of the post states, with comments applauding the ice dancers’ routine.
In reality, Check Your Fact could not find a single credible news report online of Bukin being physically unable to see. Neither he nor his team have mentioned such a condition on social media. (RELATED: Does This Video Show Part Of The Tokyo Olympics Closing Ceremony?)
The footage appeared in a nearly four-hour video posted on YouTube by the International Skating Union (ISU), taken at the 2017 ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Helsinki, Finland. In the video, Bukin can be seen looking around before the performance and looking up to see the judges’ scores for the pair’s routine after it concludes.
The Russian Olympic Committee announced Bukin as part of its Beijing 2022 Olympic team on Jan. 20, according to the International Olympics Committee. The upcoming Winter Olympics’ ice dance program is scheduled to begin Feb. 4.
Check Your Fact previously corrected an image in October 2021 that claimed U.S. Olympic runner Alysia Montano won the 800-meter race at the U.S. nationals while she was five months pregnant.