A 40-year-old Russian executive carried the Olympic torch through the Welsh resort of Towyn under the nomination story of a 61-year-old art director – despite having a different name.
Russian torchbearer Konstantin Geskin is named in both the BBC relay liveblog and The Voice of Russia as Konstantin Raykin, a film and theatre actor and director of a Moscow theatre.
The confusion is understandable: until recently, Geskin’s nomination story went as follows:
“Konstantin Raykin is the Art Director of Satyrikon Theatre. Having graduated from one of the best theatrical schools and received his ultimate start in Sovremennik Theater, he went to work at the theatre of his father, the great soviet actor Arcadyi Raykin. It was then, that he started the major work of his entire life – building a new theatre.
The popularity of Konstantin and his theatre is paramount all over Russia. Today, he enjoys the rank of the People’s Artist of Russia.
Apart from Theatre, Konstantin has been actively involved in various social and cultural projects. With the help of the public organization “”Russian Red Cross”” he supports charity trips for their members to the theater. Moreover, Konstantin regularly takes part in various social projects, such as charitable events of save the children with serious illnesses fund “”Give life”” and supporting to fund for people of art “”The Actor””.”
No one, it seemed, questioned the difference in names, and made a quick check.
Geskin, of course, is not Raykin. Konstantin Geskin is the Director of Mega-F, an automotive safety and accessory company. His LinkedIn profile also lists Trinity Falcons as one of his company websites. Trinity Falcons provides “services and solutions to improve the profitability and speed of participants in the mobile market”. This year the company became the official distributor of Samsung.
Since carrying the torch his nomination story has been removed and none is now given on his torchbearer profile – but the original story can still be accessed via Google’s cache.
A London 2012 spokesperson told reporter Kate Forrester that Konstantin Raykin did run with the torch in Rhos-on-Sea, while Geskin ran in Towyn – although Raykin is not listed on the site. They could not say why Geskin had the wrong story or why the company director was nominated.
Olympics minister Hugh Robertson recently said that the Olympic organisers LOCOG had written to sponsors and “discouraged them from allowing executives to run with the torch and encouraged them to find as many local champions as possible”.