Wednesday, February 19, 2014

IOC says no to Ukrainian skiers wearing black armbands: Report

In light of the fiery violence in Kiev, Ukrainian skiers asked the International Olympic Committee if they'd be allowed to wear armbands as a "sign of mourning" for their homeland.

On Wednesday, the IOC had a firm answer for the athletes competing with heavy hearts: No.

"Sharing deep pain over the loss of fellow countrymen, the Ukrainian Olympic committee appealed to the International Olympic Committee to allow Ukrainian athletes wear black armbands as a sign of mourning, an expression of sorrow and sympathy," a statement on the organization's website said, according to r-sport, a Russian news outlet.

"The answer was received from the IOC that in accordance with the Olympic charter it is not possible to do this."

The response is hardly without precedent. The Olympic committee strictly forbids political expression during competition, and the IOC has already banned stickers and armbands to memorialize late skier Sarah Burke, who died in an accident two years ago.

As of Wednesday morning, 25 people were confirmed dead in the Kiev conflict.

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