Russian Athletes Allowed at Olympics Must Wear Uniforms, Apparel Devoid of National Emblems
After the International Olympic Committee (IOC) banned Russia from participating in this year's Winter Olympics in South Korea due to doping violations, there has been a legal back-and-forth about allowing Russian athletes who could prove their innocence to the games. As a result, more than 100 Russian athletes are allowed to compete in the games, but they technically can't represent Russia. They'll simply be "Olympic Athletes from Russia."
Because of this, they can't wear any uniforms or apparel representing them as Russian Olympic athletes, and the rules about what they can wear are fairly strict.
According to NBC, these uniforms and apparel can only include two phrases: "Olympic Athlete from Russia" and "OAR."
The word "Russia" has to be a line below "Olympic Athlete from," and cannot be a larger font. It has to be abundantly clear that these athletes are not representing Russia, they are simply competing in the Olympics and happen to be from Russia.
What's more, the uniforms can't even be the same color as the Russian flag. Instead, the uniforms have to be a darker shade of red than the exact Pantone of the Russian flag. Also, there are only one- or two-color elements allowed, rather than the tricolor of the Russian flag.
Where the Russian uniforms would have shown its two-headed eagle emblem, there is now only a number, and the usual Cyrillic script of "Россия" will be written as "Russia," as all apparel must be written in English.
Check out the team's hockey jersey:
А вот и свитеры, в которых сборная России будет выходить на олимпийский лёд Пхенчхана! Изучаем и рассматриваем со всех сторон: pic.twitter.com/phyXshXJ3Z
— Хоккей России (@russiahockey) January 25, 2018
It almost looks like what you'd see in a sports video game that didn't get the proper licensing to use professional team names, and they have to make up team names based on the real ones.
Here's the OAR logo, which will replace all of Russia's emblems that otherwise would be present:
The IOC is really doing its best to ensure that it's final ruling regarding Russian doping is taken seriously. The last thing they want is for their rules to be undermined by sneaking in national symbolism on athletes who are technically competing independently.
To make sure, the IOC said that it needs to approve all uniform, accessories and equipment designs, per NPR.
These aren't the only special uniforms we'll see this year, either.
South Korea and North Korea are teaming up to field a joint women's hockey team, and, because of this, have had to make a few tweaks to the uniform. For starters, due to U.S. sanctions on North Korea, Nike is not allowed to create apparel for the team.
Nike is making the uniforms for the other hockey teams, but due to the ban on U.S. companies trading with North Korea, the team will source its jerseys from a Finnish company.