IOC won’t allow Ukraine’s athletes to wear black armbands in Sochi

Feb 7, 2014; Sochi, RUSSIA; The Olympic flag is carried onto the stage during the opening ceremony for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Fisht Olympic Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

As way to commemorate the lives lost in the Kiev protests this week, the Ukrainian Olympic Committee asked the International Olympic Committee (IOC) if Ukrainian Olympians could wear black armbands as a way to honor the dead.

The IOC said no. Why? Because such a gesture could be deemed “political,” and the IOC doesn’t want any nasty politics interfering with the purity of the Olympic Games. As Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter says, “no kind of demonstration, political or religious” is allowed to appear on athletes’ clothing.

This isn’t the first instance of the IOC cracking down on tributes to the departed during these Olympics. Norwegian skiers were reprimanded earlier in the Games for wearing black armbands to honor the death of a teammate’s brother. The IOC also banned stickers that skiers wanted to wear as a tribute Sarah Burke, a Canadian skier who passed away in 2012.

Keep up the good work, IOC. We can’t have distracting tributes to the dead sullying the joy of the Olympics!

[Source: The Guardian]

Topics: International Olympic Committee, Ukraine

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