Shiva Keshavan, a luger who is slated to be India’s only representative at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, likely won’t be able to march under his own flag during the opening ceremonies. In the event that he wins a gold medal, the Olympic anthem and not the Indian anthem will be played. Why? Because the International Olympic Committee says so.
In case you missed the post the other day, here’s a brief summary: The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) was suspended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) last December due to the election of controversial officials to important IOA posts. The IOA finally agreed to amend its constitution a few days ago, an action that the IOC said would cause the suspension to be lifted (and would allow expulsion to be averted). But as Thomas Bach, the head of the IOC, pointed out this week, the IOA’s suspension won’t be lifted until after the IOA holds new elections. Those elections won’t take placed until February 9, which is two days after the Sochi Olympics begin.
Here are Bach’s comments on the messy situation, courtesy of Inside the Games:
We maintained the suspension.
Indian athletes can participate in the Winter Games if they qualify of course but if there is no election before Sochi which meets the approval of the IOC, there will be no Indian flag in the Sochi Games, there will be no mention of India but we will ensure the participation of Indian athletes as independent athletes under the Olympic flag.
They will be provided with the necessary support and staff, but there will be no Chef de Mission.
Man, aren’t you all thankful the Sochi Games are shaping up to be entirely free of controversy?
[Source: Inside the Games]