Russians, Belarusians will not take part in Paris Games opening parade of teams -IOC

March 20, 2024 10:56 am

[Source: Reuters]

Russians and Belarusians will not take part in the parade of athletes at the opening ceremony of the Paris 2024 Olympics in July, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Tuesday.

The athletes from the two countries who qualify for the Games will be competing as independents without their flags and anthems following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

The opening ceremony in Paris will not be held in a stadium but will be staged on the river Seine with teams floating past an estimated 300,000 spectators.

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The Russians and Belarusians, who will be competing as individual neutral athletes (AINs) under a specially-created flag and with an anthem without lyrics produced by the IOC, will not be part of that parade.

“They will not participate in the parade of delegations during the opening ceremony, since they are individual athletes,” the Olympic body said following an executive board meeting.

But it said they would experience all other parts of the opening ceremony apart from the team parade.

“This decision is the logical consequence of the fact that the athletes with Russian and Belarusian passports are not selected as delegations but as individual athletes,” Paris 2024 Games organisers said in a statement following the IOC decision.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, who has long opposed a Russian presence at the Paris Olympics, welcomed the decision.

“I take note of the IOC’s responsible decision regarding the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. This decision is a step in the right direction,” she said in a statement to Reuters.