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#RussiaInMyHeart: How Russia's Olympic fans are making a mockery of the IOC


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#1 USC

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 07:15 PM

#RussiaInMyHeart: How Russia's Olympic fans are making a mockery of the IOC
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Dan Wetzel
Columnist
Yahoo Sports Feb 11, 2018, 11:36 AM
 

GANGNEUNG, South Korea –From the packed rows of Section G1 here at the Gangneung Ice Arena, one of the most familiar chants of Winter Olympics past repeatedly rang out Sunday.

“Ruse-i-AH. Ruse-i-AH”

Russia. Russia.

Officially, Russia isn’t here. The nation was banned by the International Olympic Committee in response to a wild, systematic doping and sample tampering operation at the 2014 Sochi Games that it hosted.

The IOC, however, did allow 168 Russian athletes to compete here. They were freed because there wasn’t credible-enough proof they individually doped. That was occasionally true because the samples were already destroyed by the Russians.

Regardless, it has created a bizarre and, at times, unbelievable mess, where there technically are no Russian Olympians. Yet everywhere you look, there’s what the IOC has dubbed “Olympic Athletes from Russia” competing with their usual brilliance.

Here at the team figure-skating event, the Olympic Athletes from Russia are in second place behind Canada and ahead of the United States going into Monday’s medal round.

View photos
Dmitrii Bukurov (left) and Roman Bukov made the trip from Russia to support Olympic Athletes of Russia. (Dan Wetzel)

The Olympic Athletes from Russia were, however, the unquestioned No. 1 in fan support here, where hundreds of their countrymen donned Russian flags, Russian colors and even T-shirts with a particular anti-IOC statement: “Russia In My Heart.”

“Huge support,” said Russian ice dancer Ekaterina Bobrova. “Our citizens, you could see them in different spots of the stadium, entire slots, they were signing their songs in Russian, waving flags. We felt as if we were at home.”

If the IOC meant to humiliate Russia, it’s mostly backfired, at least here on the ground. Instead, the Russians are here – and impossible to ignore – aiming instead to humiliate the IOC one song, one chant, one winning performance at a time.

“You can stop Russia from being here, but you can’t stop the Russians from being here,” said Evgeni Kichigin, who traveled to the Games from St. Petersburg and wore a Russian flag as a shirt on Sunday.

All over the first couple days of the Games, Russia has punched back – and shown the folly of the IOC expecting a split verdict (no Russia, lots of Olympic Athletes from Russia) to actually work. The IOC should have known it’s either one or the other. Russia is here or it’s not.

Instead, you get scenes like Sunday, entire sections of the stadium waving flags and chanting pro-Russia slogans. A large group organized themselves across three rows, wearing printed T-shirts to spell out “Russia in My Heart,” so no one could miss it. The phrase adorns stickers, signs and has become a social media rallying cry for those who didn’t come but are cheering on from back home. Other Russians walk around and put a finger to their lips in a mocking “be quiet” sign, like their presence is all a secret.

If you understood Russians, this was predictable.

Regardless of the overwhelming facts of the case, when backed into a corner, Russia was going to come out swinging. It was never going to quietly accept a full ban from the Winter Games. If you count its various itineration (Soviet Union, Unified Team, Russia), it entered these games with more medals (336) and more golds (134) than any other country.

“When they first announced they wouldn’t let us do what usually we do, I had the impression that when we come to the Olympics the support will be twice as much as usual,” Bobrova said.

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Ekaterina Bobrova said the support of Russia fans at the Winter Olympics has made her feel “as if we were at home.” (AP)
 

 


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#2 shaktiman

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 07:22 PM

“Ruse-i-AH. Ruse-i-AH”

Russia. Russia.

 

 

 

Great to hear from you my friend in difficult times.

 

Russia isn’t here. The nation was banned

 

 

 

See how much Shaktiman has in common with Russia?

 

Best!!!


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#3 wirehaired

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 08:28 PM

Great,I said Russians should fly their flag in the stadiums,i mean are the clowns going to do eject them from the place?


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#4 Ivan88

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 09:25 PM

Kremlin tower top vexilloid

ru_krml.gifru@noc.gif

Udmurtiaru-ud.gif

Primorsky Province on border with Korea

vladivostok-primorsky-krai-russia--25355


Edited by Ivan88, 12 February 2018 - 09:27 PM.

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#5 shaktiman

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 09:32 PM

Russia's Olympic fans are making a mockery of the IOC

 

 

 

I said Russians should fly their flag in the stadiums

 

 

 

Vexilloid

 

 

 

no, no, no!!!

 

Y'all got it all wrong.

 

USC, Wire, and Ivan y'all need to be very nice just like Shaktiman.

 

My Tweet below should explain all about the 2018 Olympics and why they ban Russians.

 

shaktiman

O Great and Serendipitous Swami Kornak, lift the veil of Mystery so we might know the Question to the Answer, "Cross Country Skier". A Salami for every Swami! And to the Answer "Cross Country Skier", the Question is: "What's the Transvestite Farmer Event in the Winter Olympics?"

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#6 Ivan88

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 09:38 PM

Good idea, Shaktiman, have next olympics in Jewish Autonomous Region

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