Russia and Belarus excluded from opening ceremonies at 2024 Paris Olympics

The International Olympic Committee has made the decision to exclude athletes from Russia and Belarus from participating in the opening ceremonies of the Paris Olympics this summer. This move comes as a response to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, with organizers choosing to bar countries that are deemed “responsible for the war.”

In a statement released on Tuesday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that the sanctions imposed on the Russian and Belarusian states and governments responsible for the war will continue to be in effect during the Olympic Games Paris 2024.

Athletes from Russia and Belarus have received permission to participate in individual events as “Individual Neutral Athletes” (AINs). However, their teams, flags, and national anthems have been prohibited.

The IOC clarified in a statement that AINs, being individual athletes, will not take part in the parade of delegations (teams) during the Opening Ceremony.

The opening ceremony of Paris 2024 is scheduled for Friday, July 26th, and will be a unique celebration held on the River Seine, with boats parading through the scenic waterway. As of now, there hasn’t been any determination regarding the participation of AINs in the closing ceremony.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has stated that the inclusion of AINs in the Closing Ceremony will be decided later. The IOC emphasized that the Closing Ceremony is a collective celebration of all athletes, rather than specific teams.

On February 24, 2022, Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine, with the military of Belarus playing a crucial role in supporting the conflict.

A total of 12 athletes with Russian passports and seven athletes with Belarusian passports have already qualified for the upcoming Paris games.

The IOC reiterated its stance on Tuesday, firmly opposing the politicization of sport. It cited the Fundamental Principle of the Olympic Charter to support its claim that Russia is in violation.

The Olympic Charter states that sports organizations within the Olympic Movement should apply political neutrality, acknowledging that sports exist within the context of society.

According to the charter, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has the mission of promoting Olympism globally and taking the lead in the Olympic Movement. The IOC’s primary responsibility is to combat any political or commercial exploitation of sport and athletes.

The IOC also strongly criticized Russia for planning its own games, set to take place later this year.

According to the organization, the Russian government plans to host sports events in Russia that are purely driven by political motives.

The inaugural ‘Summer Friendship Games’ are set to take place in Moscow and Ekaterinburg, Russia, in September 2024, followed by the ‘Winter Friendship Games’ in Sochi, Russia, in 2026.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) criticized the political motivation behind certain individuals who are intentionally bypassing the sports organizations in their respective countries. The IOC pointed out that this action not only goes against the principles outlined in the Olympic Charter but also violates several United Nations resolutions.

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MBS Staff
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