In recent years, when a wave of sanctions of varying degrees covered Russian sports after the Sochi Olympics, it became quite obvious that one person – the country’s president – makes crucial decisions in this area.
If Vladimir Putin had made a different decision, our Olympic history could have been suspended already in 2018. Do you remember how we were deprived of the flag and anthem for the first time on a large scale, and no one was ready to say for sure: we will go to Pyeongchang under a white flag or not?
The president did not forbid. Go. And then another – to Tokyo and Beijing.
Russians in white at the opening of the Olympic Games
Photo: RIA Novosti
It can be argued whether this approach is correct or not, but it is the president’s opinion that shapes world trends in the sports field. It is he who can set prohibitive barriers or difficult tasks for the future.
So far, thank God, it has not reached prohibitive barriers. So far, the situation is such that the IOC will invite a couple of dozen athletes to the Paris 2024 Games, who will compete under a neutral flag. And it seems that no one in our country will interfere with his trip to the Olympics.
The IOC understands that they can lose to Russia:
The IOC chief is angry at impotence. He called Russia “shameless” and threatened to split the Olympics
Another thing is more important – tasks for the future.
A few days ago, at a meeting with the government, Vladimir Putin paid attention to the situation in sports and made it clear what to do next.
“As a result of the politicization of international sports structures and the increased commercialization of the international Olympic movement, unfortunately, we see a certain degradation coming. This will simply inevitably entail the creation of parallel structures in the field of international sports, ”TASS quotes the country’s president.
And here is the vector of development. Formulated and fixed.
This is not the first time that Putin has talked about the change in Russian sports:
Will Russia return to the great world sport? Putin and Bach made fateful statements
So what does it all mean and what’s next?
It is clear that Russia will not be able to immediately kill off the entire Olympic movement, which has been built for more than a century, and hold its own Games, which will be bigger, cooler and more representative than the current Olympic Games.
Perhaps, it is not even necessary to stand up in a pose and voluntarily leave the Olympic movement. But we need to build an alternative to it, and not just sit back and hope that it will all be over soon and we will be returned.
Maybe they will come back. Or maybe they won’t come back and the situation will only get worse.
If the global Olympic system continues to fail, it is important to have an alternative, not only for ourselves, but also for those we consider partners. Therefore, it is time to build the “parallel structures” that Putin talks about.
An illustrative example is the same CIS Games. They were held for the first time in 2021, even before the start of events in Ukraine and the complete ban on Russian sports. And in 2023, there was no need to invent anything new – the tournament had already taken place and gathered twice as many athletes as two years earlier. Yes, mostly young people, but there were also stars: in gymnastics, weightlifting, beach soccer.
Russian gymnast Arina Averina at the 2nd CIS Games
And to tell someone two years ago that the CIS Games will be almost the main event of the entire summer season in some sports – they would only laugh.
Therefore, the conditional BRICS Games should not be held for the sake of show business and development of budgets, but in order to really attract young and star athletes. Show that in some sports the level of competition is quite high. Earn a good reputation and gain experience.
And at some point, taking into account, of course, the world political situation, a situation may arise when star athletes from Russia’s partner countries prefer not to go to the Olympics, but to our Games. Is this plan guaranteed to succeed? No. It is a long and difficult path.
But there is only one alternative: surrender to mercy and wait until they take pity on us and return us with a flag and anthem. Maybe in five years. Maybe in 30.
Leaving the Olympic Movement is harder than it seems:
Or maybe to hell with the Olympics? What will happen if Russia leaves the Olympic movement