Impact on Sports Across the World

Impact on Sports Across the World

Ukrainian President, Vladimir Zelensky, Opposes International Olympic Committee’s Decision to Allow Athletes from Russia and Belarus to Participate in 2024 Paris Summer Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that athletes from Russia and Belarus can participate in international competitions under neutral flags and that qualifications will take place over the next few months. However, this decision was met with harsh criticism from Ukraine’s President, Vladimir Zelensky, who argues that the sanctions should only be lifted when Russia stops waging war and creating terror.

Former Olympic champion Vladimir Klitschko also advocated for the exclusion of athletes from Russia and Belarus. Despite this, IOC President, Thomas Bach claims to “perceive” a “great world majority” in favor of Russian and Belarusian participation, with some Western critics even showing support towards this proposal.

Consequently, athletes from Ukraine and Russia will compete under the Olympic rings, with the IOC calling this “peaceful competition”. However, the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing demonstrated that this ‘neutral’ flag was merely a facade. After the games, some Russian athletes agreed to take part in war propaganda backed by President Vladimir Putin, showing the strong link between sport and the nation.

These results leave the public in amazement. Andreas Michelmann, president of the German Handball Federation, even argued that it is an “understandable” step to allow athletes from Russia and Belarus to compete. Yet, Ukrainian President remained firm in his stand, arguing that exclusion of certain athletes is necessary and correct, regardless of their political standing.

Overall, this point in time is not suitable for the ‘unfair’ distribution of punishment based on origin and the end of this discrimination needs to be ensured as soon as possible. To conclude, it must be clear that sport is always a stage and banning the Russian flag from the Australian tennis championship proves this statement.

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