Olympics: Russians can’t compete, yet they’re competing?

Everyone’s favorite time of the year is literally right around the corner. The 2018 Winter Olympics start on February 9th.

I don’t know about you, but my TV will permanently be on NBC for the next two weeks.

Is it just me or do the Olympics give you all the ~feels~?

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I really can’t think of a time where I feel more proud to be an American. And I’m not even an Olympic athlete — I know this is a huge surprise to all of you.

We do have some of the best athletes in the world though. Our medal count always proves that. But now that one of our number one competitors, or should I say one of everyone’s number one competitors, is banned from competing, I think this might be our year, folks!

‘Merica baby!

Russian scandal

As I’m sure most of you know (if not, you’re about to) the Russians were caught in a huge drug scandal. Now they are paying for it, to say the least.

In the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Russian athletes were caught using performance-enhancing drugs (or doping) which is prohibited by the International Olympic Committee.

Duh.

The worst part about this scandal is that it was backed by the state. Russian government officials were covering up for their athletes so that they would get away with taking the drugs to perform better, which is so wrong on so many levels.

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Some would say “if you ain’t cheatin’ you ain’t tryin.”

Well, unfortunately for Russia, that saying doesn’t mention those who get caught.

Didn’t their parents ever teach them that “cheaters never prosper.”

Well, they probably should have, because the IOC has banned Russia from competing this year in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

This banning was on good grounds, in my opinion.

But there’s a catch…

Any athletes who can prove being clean of any drug usage in the Sochi games or just clear from any allegations of drug use in general are allowed to compete.

According to USA Today, these athletes will be competing as “Olympic athletes from Russia.”

This means a few things for these people…

  1. They will be wearing a neutral uniform that does not symbolize Russia.
  2. The Russian flag will not be displayed during any ceremonies during the Olympics and the Russian anthem will be excluded from the games as well.
  3. The Olympic flag and the Olympic anthem will take the place of the Russian flag and anthem in the case that these athletes win a medal.

Here’s the official symbol that they will be reppin’.

Not only that, but on top of everything else, if there are medals won by the “Olympic athletes from Russia” they will not be counted and the final medal count for Russia will still be zero.

So, yes, the “Russian competitors” can go to the Olympics, but it’s an extensive process to make sure that these athletes are truly clean in order for them to be cleared.

It sounds like a lot of trouble just to compete, (maybe) win a medal and then stand on the podium not being able to represent your home country.

So, they can “compete,” but is it worth it?

If you ask me, it doesn’t make much sense (then again I’m not an Olympic athlete so I guess that gives me no room to talk.)

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Obviously going to the Olympics is a huge honor and privilege. The best athletes around the world come together and compete against each other in what is the toughest competition they will ever see.

So maybe it is worth it considering they have been waiting for this one opportunity for probably their entire lives, no big deal or anything.

But again, it just will not be the same for the Russians.

When they win that gold medal they will stand on the podium and be recognized for their individual achievement, but without being able to say they won a medal for their country. And regardless if they win the gold, the silver, or the bronze, there will be no record of it for the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics.

That just hurts.

I cannot even imagine what it must feel like to stand on that podium and be given a medal for something you work towards your whole life and getting to do it wearing USA across your chest, listening to the star spangled banner.

I have the chills just thinking about it!

For the “Olympic Athletes from Russia” that feeling won’t be the same.

But maybe they just have their eyes on the prize and for them it’s all about bringing home the gold for themself. I bet for Russia, they will still see every medal as a win for their country whether the Olympics count it or not.

They are all about winning and are hoping that some of their athletes can bring home a few W’s for bragging rights.

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There is still no headcount for how many Russians will compete, so it looks like we will have to wait for opening ceremonies to find out just how many Russians will still be trying to finish on top and steal those medals from the U.S.A.

FRIDAY is the day people, get in the spirit and channel your patriotism, because the U.S. is playing to win and “Russia” will not be getting in our way!

U.S.A, U.S.A, U.S.A!

— Sara

 



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