The Commission of Athletes of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) made a single statement on behalf of Russian athletes who perform in winter sports, which explains their position on the issue of participating in the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang under a neutral flag. The text of the application is provided on the website of the ROC.
The meeting of the commission of athletes was held on Monday in the building of the ROC. The final decision on the participation of Russian athletes in the Games in Pyeongchang will be taken at the Olympic meeting on December 12. The commission made a statement on the basis of the received written, audio and video messages, as well as oral comments from Russian athletes.
“Every athlete has a dream. He trains daily from an early age, gives all his time and energy to achieve it. This dream is called the Olympic Games. There is nothing more emotional and meaningful than going up to the top step of the pedestal, hearing the hymn of your country and seeing how the national flag rises in honor of your victory,” the statement said.
“The Olympic medal never belongs only to the one who won it, it belongs to all the people, whose representative is the athlete, all who were cheering, supporting and worriying for him. Today we express our readiness to participate in the 2018 Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, despite the fact that, a priori, they are placed in unequal conditions with their colleagues from other countries. Our desire is not dictated by personal career ambitions, although the Olympic medal for each of us is the highest sporting value. We want to speak for our homeland, for our relatives and friends, for our loyal fans, for our nation, which for many centuries has been and remains one of the greatest in the world,” the message says.
“Every victory, every medal we will devote to our Russia, which we will be proud to represent. We play cleanly, we play by the rules, we strive to win in a fair fight. For the sake of this, we are ready to go to the Olympic Games and prove that Russian athletes are strong in their talent, skill, will and spirit, and not at all in what we were tried to blame,” the athletes said in a statement.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on December 5 temporarily suspended ROC membership in the organization, so the Russian national team will not be able to compete under the national flag at the Games. At the same time, the IOC retained the opportunity for net athletes to participate in the Olympics, subject to the requirements of a special commission for doping control and in the absence of penalties for doping violations in the past. IOC will independently form a list of athletes.