The term “Olympic athlete from Russia” was to become a tool of collective punishment for Russians, but in practice it only strengthened Russian nationalism in these Games. According to The Nation, the Russian audience came to Pyeongchang in unexpectedly large numbers, demonstrating their pride and utter contempt for the IOC, who wants to look very strict and tough with doping.
At this Olympiad the audience got acquainted with a country called UAR. This abbreviation means “Olympic athlete from Russia”. According to The Nation, this name along with the Olympic flag was to punish Russia for its doping program at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, but the evidence of Russian doping should not mask the hypocrisy of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), as well as the unfair nature of the punishment.
As the publication continues, the IOC knew about doping in July 2013, but the committee deliberately closed its eyes to convincing evidence of its application and allowed the Sochi Games of 2014 to be held. Since the hostess of the Olympics was Russia, it was in the interests of the IOC not to see this, and he fulfilled this task properly. And before the Summer Games in Rio in 2016, the IOC instructed the international sports federations to decide for themselves whether to allow Russian athletes to participate. And when new evidence emerged and the World Anti-Doping Agency, which had its own conflicts of interest, gathered evidence of the widespread use of doping in Russia, the IOC announced in December 2017 that this country would not be allowed to participate in the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang.
But then the Olympic bosses drew a big footnote to this bold statement, allowing nearly 170 Russian athletes to travel to South Korea. As the newspaper notes, for example, in the winter Olympics in Vancouver, 177 athletes from Russia participated. The fact that nearly 170 athletes have undergone rigorous verification raises questions from both sides. First, how widespread was the system of doping, and secondly, how strict was the process of checks and selection?
« In the end, the IOC remained silent about what criteria would be used to test Russian athletes, although it immediately promulgated the design of the logo “Olympic athlete from Russia.” The compromise is that we now have “Olympic athletes from Russia”, and Russia itself does not. Some very awkward and awkward situation “, – the authors of the article write.
But, in their opinion, everything looks even more ridiculous on the spot. It might seem that the logo of the UAR is like a symbol of shame, but it only strengthened Russian nationalism in these Games. Russian viewers came to Pyeongchang in unexpectedly large numbers, demonstrating their sense of pride and complete contempt for the IOC.
Most countries have their own hospitality homes decorated with their names, and the Russians have a House of Sport that ” predictably became a hotbed of unrestrained nationalism “Where in sight everyone has dolls, photographs of Vladimir Putin, Russian caps, scarves and flags in unlimited quantities.
« Imagine: the United States is also strictly forbidden to go to the Olympics, but 95 percent of our athletes compete on it anyway, but not in red-blue-white uniforms and without star-striped flags above their heads. Yes, in this case, the Americans will turn the whole of South Korea into July 4 and only American patriotic songs will be heard there – even if their national team takes off skates and goes home “, – compares the publication.
As the authors of the material conclude, it is best to understand the farce with the name of the UAR if one can see the fact that it became an instrument of collective punishment, which, however, did not punish Russia, but only inflamed the flame of nationalism and strengthened international disagreements.
« At a time when the IOC is trying to become a bridge between North and South Korea, the farce with the name of the UAR is very much like the IOC itself, which shares more than it unites, and stands in the way of true internationalism, which can and should be promoted by sport “- sums up the American edition.