Author: Andrew

The Russian Olympic Movement

The Russian Olympic Movement

Hints of Russians’ Return to International Sports Rekindle Debate Over Their Exclusion

NEW DELHI, INDIA — It was September 2001 and the world was in shock. The Russian government had banned the country’s top athletes, and the news quickly reverberated around the world. Athletes, coaches, promoters, and fans in the U.S. and Europe would only be permitted to watch the games on Russian televisions and radios, but in a country of some 180 million people, only the rich, privileged residents of Moscow would be admitted to the games, while the rest of the population watched on state-controlled television. It was a decision that had sparked a wave of protests across the United States and even led to the suspension of the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.

When the Russian athletes returned in February 2002, it seemed that the entire world had forgotten the controversy. There was much talk about the Olympics not needing to be held in Moscow. “We will do better,” said Yelena Alekseyeva, the head of the Russian Olympic Committee. Yelena Alekseyeva was in line with the majority of Russians who didn’t want to go to the Olympics. The most recent Russian president, Boris Yeltsin, had resigned during the days of the Russian protests and the Russian media did little in his place. Yeltsin, a long-time ally of Yelena Yeltsina, was said to be deeply unhappy with Yelena’s presidency. Yelena, who had replaced Yeltsin at the top of the Russian government, was a former model-turned-politician and was well-known for being a devout Catholic who had never married. Yelena was loved and admired by the people of Russia. Yelena was a sports and business leader, but she was also known as Yelena the political operator. Yelena was considered to be Yelena the woman. Yelena, like Yelena Yeltsina, was a highly decorated athlete. Yelena won the 1990 Olympic fencing gold,

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