February 5 , 2018 – FRN –
Most of the Russian athletes will not attend the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games on February 9 – but they cite scheduling issues. Is it fact or fiction?
Meanwhile, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev called the decision of the IOC “shameful” which did not allow Russian sportsmen to compete, that were recently justified by an independent court in Switzerland.
“Participation in the opening ceremony is a private matter for everyone” – said one of the head coaches.
The first to pull out of the opening ceremony were the Russian hockey players – but this is due to the fact that they chose to arrive in South Korea later, on February 11. The ice skaters will also miss the event – they have a team competition on the same day.
“Our athletes will already have competitions that day, so they are definitely not up for the ceremony” explained Alexander Gorshkov, president of the Russian Federation of figure skating.
The short-trackers are also not attending – “The guys will not go to the ceremony, we have an official start on February 10”, – said the head of the national team, Anna Maksimenko. The same applies to the bobsleigh team.
“Men’s races begin on February 10, that is, the day after the opening of the Games. Probably, no competitor in this field can attend the ceremony,” explained the head of the Russian Luge Federation, Natalia Garth.
The president of the Federation of Curling of Russia, Dmitry Svishchev, also confirmed that his team will not participate in the traditional parade of the countries taking part in the Olympic Games.
“I am deeply convinced that this is a private matter for everyone. Here, two things play a role: I want to, or do not want to, and I can or cannot,” alluded Svishchev.
Russian skiers and biathlon athletes will not participate in the opening ceremony, according to media reports.
Thus, at the opening ceremony, walking under the neutral Olympic flag – there will only be a few participants from Russia.
According to the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), 70-75 people may still walk, under the white flag. These are mostly snowboarders, cross-country skiers, speedskaters,” the press service of the ROC said.
Evidently – few of Russia’s traditional sports, where Russia is a medal leader, will be represented at the opening ceremony.