Putin to Send Russian Athletes to 2018 PyeongChang Olympics

Write : 2017-12-07 10:52:40 Update : 2017-12-20 10:30:42

Putin to Send Russian Athletes to 2018 PyeongChang Olympics

Anchor: Russian President Vladimir Putin said he will not boycott the PyeongChang Olympics. The remarks come after the International Olympic Committee banned Russia from taking part following the confirmation of doping violations.
Our Park Jong-hong has the details.

[Sound bite: Russian President Vladimir Putin (Russian)] 
"Without any doubt we will not declare any kind of blockade. We will not block our Olympians from taking part, if any of them wish to take part as individuals."

Russian individual athletes will be allowed to take part in the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games.

After launching his re-election campaign on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in televised remarks that he will allow his country’s athletes to take part as individuals if they wish to.
[Sound bite: Russian President Vladimir Putin (Russian)] 
"Many athletes, I know many of them personally, have been preparing for these competitions their entire lives, it wasn't only a couple of years of preparation, they have been preparing for their whole careers, and for them it's very important. So we won't ban anything to anyone, block or create conditions that would make participation impossible."
This position relieves concerns that Russia would boycott the PyeongChang Games in response to the International Olympic Committee’s(IOC) ban on Russia for doping violations at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Russian Olympic champions - Yelena Isinbaeva and Evgeni Plushenko-  quickly started to encourage athletes to go to South Korea for the games. 
South Korean-born Russian short track speed skater Victor An said Wednesday he wishes to compete as a neutral athlete.
A star athlete and a medal hopeful in the winter games, An said he can’t give up on his Olympic dreams adding he has been preparing for the event for four years.
Earlier on Tuesday, the IOC decided that Russian athletes will be allowed to compete under the designation "Olympic Athlete from Russia" and march behind the Olympic flag at opening ceremonies. At medal ceremonies, the Olympic anthem will be played for the neutral athletes instead of the Russian national anthem.
Park Jong-hong KBS World Radio News.

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