Russians and Belarusians will be AIN, neutral and designated individual athletes at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games | Paris 2024 Olympic Games

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Neither romantic and passionate Tchaikovsky, his superb fanfare of horns, nor white red and blue nor the acronym ROC, those of the Russian Olympic Committee, nor a joyful parade at the opening ceremony nor participation in team sports: the few Russian athletes (and a few Belarusians, punished, like their neighbors and allies by Putin’s war against Ukraine) who participate in the Paris Games will not enjoy the minimum joys that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) granted them by allowing them to participate in the Tokyo 2021 Games and Beijing 2022 under the flag of its Olympic committee despite its country being sanctioned for state doping.

Russians and Belarusians will carry a flag and an emblem with the letters AIN (Neutral Individual Athletes) in Paris in a white circle on a green background, like a faded military uniform, without sparkle, which looks more like a seal of conformity in a passport or a mark that identifies them as plagued than a symbol to feel proud of when wearing it. And if any of them goes up to the podium to collect a gold medal, music without words will be played in his honor that sounds like a bad imitation of Fire cars through an AI of balance whose authorship nothing is known: neither the IOC informed the media of the name of its composer when publishing it nor the apps of search engines identify it. Supposedly epic, a Carmina Burana or something like that, it’s an anonymous glanders.

And, of course, nothing about trying to get on a bateau mouche along the Seine at dusk in Paris on July 27 in what is presented as the largest Olympic parade ever told. “The AIN will not participate in the parade of the delegations (teams) at the opening ceremony, since they are individual athletes, but they will have the opportunity to experience the event,” the IOC says in a statement explaining the conditions under which participation will be allowed. in Paris to a maximum of 55 Russian and 28 Belarusian AIN. And remember: “It is the same stage that was used for the independent Olympic participants (from the former Yugoslavia) in the 1992 Barcelona Games.”

The AIN, an onomatopoeia of a lament, a river and department of France as well, seem more like invited to someone else’s party to maintain the appearances of apolitical Olympism and that the Olympic truce exists; also news that Thomas Bach, the president of the IOC, insists on airing perhaps to calm critics who accused him of leniency and were categorically opposed to the possibility of a single athlete with a Russian or Belarusian passport setting foot in Paris. “No representative of the Russian or Belarusian Governments or States will be invited or accredited at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games,” says the IOC. “Like all other athletes, AINs will also have to sign the conditions of participation applicable to Paris 2024. These conditions include the commitment to respect the Olympic Charter, in particular ‘the peace mission of the Olympic Movement.’

Four months before the start of the Games, 12 AIN with Russian passports and seven Belarusians have already achieved a place thanks to their sporting merits. Although the assigned limit is 55 and 28, Olympic experts predict that in the end there will be a total of 36 Russians and 22 Belarusians (compared to 330 and 104, respectively, in Tokyo 2021) who will achieve a place, exceeding both the common sports minimums all countries as a series of their own conditions. “Athletes who actively support the war will not be able to register or compete. Registration in competitions or competition of athletes hired by the Russian or Belarusian army or by national security organizations will not be authorized,” imposes the IOC, which recalls that sanctions against those responsible for the war will remain in force for the Games. Paris 2024 Olympics. “This means, in particular, that no flag, anthem, color or other identification of any kind of Russia or Belarus will be present at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games at any official venue or event.”

To certify that all athletes who apply for a place meet all the conditions to earn the AIN seal, the IOC has created a certification committee made up of three people and a secretary. One of its members is Pau Gasol, representing the IOC ethics commission.

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