The Russian fencing champion will not participate in the Olympics without a flag or anthem


Sofia VelikayaRussian Olympic fencing champion and opening ceremony flag bearer last year, reportedly said she would not compete in the Games without the Russian flag and anthem.

“Everyone should be on an equal footing – performing under their own flag and with their own anthem,” Velikaya said, according to an Inside the Games translation of one Report by Russian news agency TASS. “Now the Olympic Movement is a big question. Until equal conditions are created, I will not go to the Games.

The ban on Russian athletes from competing with the national flag and anthem at major international competitions due to the country’s doping violations ends in December.

They were able to compete as neutral athletes or under the name of the Russian Olympic Committee or their national federations until the invasion of Ukraine, after which most Olympic sports federations banned Russian and Belarusian athletes indefinitely . This included the International Fencing Federation (FIE).

Velikaya, 36, has won team saber gold in the last two Olympics and individual saber silver in the last three Olympics. In Tokyo, Russian athletes competed under the name of the Russian Olympic Committee and without the Russian flag and anthem.

Velikaya carried a white flag with the logo of the Russian Olympic Committee during the opening ceremony, leading the delegation.

Velikaya took breaks from competition after the 2012 and 2016 Olympics to have a child.

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