Author`s name Alexander Shtorm

Does Russia really want the Olympic humiliation under the white flag?

Does Russia want its athletes humiliated at the Olympic Games again? Will Russia boycott the Games this time?

Olympic alternative to Russian national anthem

In December 2020, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) prohibited Russian athletes from performing at world championships and Olympic Games under the national flag and deprived them of the right to perform the Russian national anthem. To crown it all, Russia was deprived of the right to host such sports events too.

A number of active Russian politicians started looking for an alternative to the Russian national anthem and picked up the idea for the Russian athletes to perform ​​the famous WWII song "Katyusha." Some of them were not even embarrassed by the fact that the IOC requires not to include any mentioning of any war or any war-related topic in the Games, including in opening and closing ceremonies. They apparently assumed that the rest of the world should accept World War II as an excuse for Russia's current problems.

On March 13, 2021, CAS rejected the request from the Russian Olympic Committee to use the "Katyusha" song as a replacement for the Russian anthem at the upcoming Olympic Games in the summer of 2021 in Tokyo and in February 2022 in Beijing. The court clarified that the concept of "any anthem associated with Russia" applied to all songs associated with Russia. However, the court decision did not close the discussion in Russia anyway, and the search for the replacement for the Russian national anthem continues.

Does Russia need the white flag in sports?

This is strange indeed: if Russia can stand up against the world supremacist state in Syria, return territories in Europe, ignore the work in the Council of Europe and make harsh statements about its readiness to terminate relations with the European Union, then why not slam the door to the IOC?

Why should Russia should feel humiliated to participate in the Olympics? Those who believe that one needs to think about the athletes and their most important sports competitions, may forget to think that it goes about Russian athletes being Russian citizens. Does Russia need athletes that do not want to sacrifice their achievements and victories for sake of their country's dignity? Or does Russia need to live up to the interests of a handful of athletes to the detriment of its own national interests and interests of millions of other Russian citizens, who are not thrilled at the whole idea of Russia's sports humiliation?

Russian athletes should not perform on foreign sports arenas and stadiums under the white flag. Does anyone want sports victories with no national anthem playing?

Needless to say that athletes will leave and perform for other countries, if we do not give them an opportunity to realise their potential. As a matter of fact, that is OK, but a Russian citizen is a person who serves Russia. There is no place for other interests here.

Big sport is part of big international politics. By and large, the Olympic Games have become yet another platform where leading powers can settle scores with each other.

Any sporting event is a sublimation of war. How can one take part in sports competitions under the white flag? It makes absolutely no sense for Russia to obey the rules that were made to make Russia and the Russians feel as much uncomfortable as possible.