The Highland Echo

Olympic scandal: Russian athletes to compete under neutral flag

Above%3A+Olympic+and+Russian+flags+side+by+side.+Athletes+will+not+be+permitted+to+represent+Russia+in+the+upcoming+Winter+Games+in+February.+
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Olympic scandal: Russian athletes to compete under neutral flag

Above: Olympic and Russian flags side by side. Athletes will not be permitted to represent Russia in the upcoming Winter Games in February.

Above: Olympic and Russian flags side by side. Athletes will not be permitted to represent Russia in the upcoming Winter Games in February.

Photo Courtesy: https://www.cnn.com

Above: Olympic and Russian flags side by side. Athletes will not be permitted to represent Russia in the upcoming Winter Games in February.

Photo Courtesy: https://www.cnn.com

Photo Courtesy: https://www.cnn.com

Above: Olympic and Russian flags side by side. Athletes will not be permitted to represent Russia in the upcoming Winter Games in February.

Jimmy Patton, Sports Editor

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Photo Courtesy: https://www.cnn.com
Above: Olympic and Russian flags side by side. Athletes will not be permitted to represent Russia in the upcoming Winter Games in February.

The Winter Olympics, set to take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea will begin on February 9 and will run through February 25. As the event grows nearer, excitement grows as well.

The Olympics is known as an event that demonstrates great pride in one’s nation and culture. Every athlete goes out to represent his/her country the best s/he can, trying to win gold medals to bring back home.

One country’s flag will be missing at this Winter Olympic Games.

The games this year will not feature one of the world’s most powerful and competitive countries–Russia. Russia will not be represented in the upcoming Olympic games due to a widespread doping scandal. As a result from their wrong- doing, many Russian officials will not be allowed to be at the games, their flag will not be presented or raised, and their national anthem shall not be played. However, not all Russian athletes are being banned from participating in the games.

Those who were not part of the cheating scandal in the Sochi Olympics will be allowed to compete, just not under the Russian country’s flag and name. Approximately 200 Russian athletes will compete wearing an Olympic uniform. If one of these athletes were to place in an event, the Olympic flag will be displayed and the Olympic anthem will be played instead of Russia’s.

Since Russia is ultimately banned from participating in Pyeongchang, the other nations involved in each event will likely have an easier time earning medals. The athletes of other countries could potentially take advantage of the less experienced Russian athletes, who may be less talented in the events. This brings into play the possibility of giving other nations an edge in most competitions over the Russian team, which will not be at full strength.

The Russians won a total of 33 medals in the Winter Games in Sochi, results which will likely not be repeated at the 2018 games give that the national powerhouse athletes of Russia are not competing. The total of 33 medals collected was the most by any nation, including a whopping 13 gold medals, the most out of any country as well.

The controversial doping acts, allegedly promoted by Russian officials and perhaps Vladimir Putin himself, will cost both new and old athletes who were looking forward to competing for the first time (or second or third time) in a beloved world wide event.

The International Olympic Committee has made a statement that they will not tolerate any country, even one as big as Russia, attempting to cheat in any way shape or form.

Russia’s punishment may set an example for the rest of the world to ensure this type of behavior will be met with consequences.

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Olympic scandal: Russian athletes to compete under neutral flag