The Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) team defied a ban on the singing of their national anthem following their Sunday gold-medal victory over Germany in men’s ice hockey.
By singing the Russian national anthem while the Olympic song was being played at the medal ceremony, the OAR team violated the strict neutrality rules that the International Olympic Committee had established for the Russians. The OAR team was composed of more than 160 Russian athletes who proved that they had refrained from doping after their country was banned from the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang 2018 due to alleged state-sponsored doping prior to and during the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
CNN reported: “I think from the beginning we had this inkling inside each one of us and then, as we lined up, we said we will sing the anthem and that’s it,” Bogdan Kiselevich told reporters after the OAR’s 4-3 overtime win.
“We’re prohibited from having the flag so we had to do something at least. We sang because we’re Russian people and when you win, the anthem is played. It was in our souls and heart.”
Questioned whether he was afraid the team would be punished for singing the anthem, Kiselevich responded: “It’s freedom of speech.”
Our hockey players singing the Russian national anthem, no matter what crappy music is playing on the background pic.twitter.com/LcUU6RZLft
— English Russia (@EnglishRussia1) February 25, 2018