Ukraine Warns Against Russia, Belarus in 2024 Olympics

    Ukraine Warns Against Russia, Belarus in 2024 Olympics
    Last updated Jan 27, 2023
    Image credit: Reuters [via Al Jazeera]


    • On Thursday, Ukraine's sports minister and president of the country's National Olympic Committee, Vadim Guttsait, warned that if the International Olympic Committee (IOC) allows Russia and Belarus to compete in the 2024 Paris games, Ukraine may decide to boycott them.[1]
    • Belarus has a close relationship with Russia, which is why many suspect its government played a role in the war in Ukraine.[1]
    • This comes in response to a statement on Wednesday by the IOC that said it was continuing to work on a pathway for Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete as neutrals — a reversal from its stance to exclude them from competing in the lead-up to the conflict.[2]
    • The Olympic Council of Asia also announced on Thursday that it had invited Belarusian and Russian athletes to compete in this year's Asian Games, which would allow them to qualify for the Paris Games through Asia instead of Europe.[3]
    • Following the start of the war in February 2022, many international sports organizations suspended Russian and Belarusian teams and athletes, while others were allowed to compete under a neutral flag.[4]


    Anti-Russia narrative

    Russian athletes should have no place at the Paris Olympic Games, as allowing them to participate would legitimize Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin's illegal and unjustified war in Ukraine. The IOC's position is a world away from the reality of the war being felt by the Ukrainian people. Now is the time to work with like-minded countries to ensure that solidarity continues on this issue.

    Pro-Russia narrative

    The Olympic Games — meant to unite instead of divide — aren't about politics, and nor should they be. Punishing individual athletes for decisions taken by the leaders of their countries is not only unfair but also sets a dangerous precedent. The IOC, a strictly politically neutral organization, is on the right path.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 75% chance that the US will top the Olympic Medal Table at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, according to the Metaculus Prediction Community.

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