South Korea shock at Russia 2018 Winter Olympics ban

(CNN) South Korean Olympic organizers have expressed shock after Russia was banned from getting involved in the upcoming Pyeongchang Winter Games .

The absence of among the world’s major snowboarding powers from your competition adds another stress for the hosts, who already are working with lackluster ticket sales in the shadow of the ongoing North Korea crisis.

Lee Hee-beom, President of the Pyeongchang Organizing Committee, said in a good radio interview Tuesday he did not expect the International Olympic Committee (IOC) “to move this far.”

“We approach to meet the chairman of the IOC and deliver our communication. The message that it’s better to allow as many nations, as much sports athletes to compete,” he advised South Korea’s CBS Radio.

Evgenia Medvedeva is one of several Russian sports athletes who indicated they may boycott the Games rather than compete as neutrals.

‘Murder of our countrywide sport’

Beneath the IOC’s ruling, which found Russia had engaged in “systemic manipulation” of anti-doping rules, “clean” sportspeople can take part in the Games beneath the designation “Olympic Athlete from Russia” (OAR).

Lee said the organizing committee respects the IOC’s decision, and that allowing Russians to compete found in a personal capacity was the next best option, beyond full participation.

Some prominent Russian Olympians say they haven’t yet decided if they’ll compete.

Evgenia Medvedeva, a good two-time community figure-skating champion, told reporters following the IOC’s decision that it had been “prematurily .” for her to decide whether she would take part.

Figure skating is one of the most popular Winter Olympics occurrences, and the loss of Medvedeva — widely tipped for a gold medal — will be a major blow to followers.

In a speech to the IOC panel before the ruling came down, Medvedeva seemed to indicate she would certainly not compete as a neutral athlete, saying she “cannot accept” that option.

“I am pleased with my country, it really is a superb honor for me personally to represent it at the Games,” she said. “It gives durability and inspires me through the performances.”

Medvedeva told panel members as a “tidy” athlete she never dreamed she could possibly be banned from the Olympics.

“In 2014, We was 14 years old. I had not even entered the adult countrywide team of my region,” she said. For me personally, Pyeongchang ought to be the first likelihood to plunge in to the unique atmosphere of the Olympic Games. I do not understand why my Russian teammates and I can lose this chance.”

Various other Russian athletes have reacted similarly. Regarding to state-run broadcaster RT , Irina Avvakumova, an associate of the ski jumping team, said she “did not prepare for so a long time merely to go and compete without representing my region.”

Figure skating trainer Tatiana Tarasova called the IOC’s decision to ban the Russian team “the murder of our national sport.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously said it will be a humiliation to compete without any national symbols.

Photos: Olympia to Pyeongchang The iconic Olympic flame found its way to South Korea on Wedesday, November 1, signaling 100 days to go until the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Games. Hide Caption 1 of 14 Photos: Olympia to Pyeongchang From old Olympia to the icy slopes of Pyeongchang, the flame travels thousands of miles over the course of its quest. Hide Caption 2 of 14 Photos: Olympia to Pyeongchang Originally derived from natural sunlight in a parabolic mirror, the flame begins its epic quest at the Temple of Hera, site of the Olympic Games in ancient times. Hide Caption 3 of 14 Photos: Olympia to Pyeongchang Greek cross-region skier Apostolos Angelis acquired the honor to be the first recognized torchbearer on this occasion. Here he also holds an olive tree branch as symbolic of peace. Hide Caption 4 of 14 Photos: Olympia to Pyeongchang Angelis approved the torch to former Manchester United midfielder Recreation area Ji-Sung , the most decorated Asian footballer ever sold and a South Korean icon. Hide Caption 5 of 14 Photos: Olympia to Pyeongchang Recreation area believes that North Korea’s participation in the Games would send a great message , showing CNN Sport in September: “We have a tricky marriage between both countries, so if they participate that means too much to our country as well.” Hide Caption 6 of 14 Photos: Olympia to Pyeongchang A good succession of torchbearers carried the flame to the very best of Acropolis Hill, where Greek gymnast Dimosthenis Tampakos (Olympic champion in the rings at Athens 2004) illuminated the columns of the Parthenon. Hide Caption 7 of 14 Photos: Olympia to Pyeongchang After completing a week-very long tour of Greece, the flame was officially approved to the Pyeongchang arranging committee at a handover ceremony. Greek Alpine skier Ioannis Proios is proven keeping the torch at the ceremony in Athens’ Panathenaic Stadium on October 31, 2017. Hide Caption 8 of 14 Photos: Olympia to Pyeongchang It touched down at Incheon AIRPORT TERMINAL, west of Seoul, in the secure hands of former physique skating champion Yuna Kim (R) and South Korea’s Culture, Sports activities and Tourism Minister, Do Jong-Hwan. Hide Caption 9 of 14 Photos: Olympia to Pyeongchang The Primary Minister of the Republic of Korea, Lee Nak-yon, in that case lit the cauldron to signal the beginning of the Olympic flame’s quest to PyeongChang 2018. Hide Caption 10 of 14 Photos: Olympia to Pyeongchang The honor to be the first to hold the Olympic flame on house soil fell to 13-year-old physique skating prodigy You Small. Hide Caption 11 of 14 Photos: Olympia to Pyeongchang Just 11 years old when she gained her initial national championships name in 2015, the teenager said: “It really is my goal to represent my region at an Olympic Winter Games and I am spending so much time to create that dream a reality soon.” Hide Caption 12 of 14 Photos: Olympia to Pyeongchang A good ceremony to tag the flame’s arrival presented K-pop feeling Taeyang, an honorary ambassador f or following year’s Winter Games. Hide Caption 13 of 14 Photos: Olympia to Pyeongchang The Olympic Flame will come to be exchanged by 7,500 torchbearers over the approaching 100 days since it makes its quest around the Republic of Korea. Hide Caption 14 of 14

Tourist figures down

Whether a handful of Russian athletes compete simply because neutrals or not one at all, Russians will not be watching the Games at home, with the All-Russia State Broadcasting Company expressing it will not carry the Games with out a Russian team.

Organizers are actually also likely worried about a drop found in Russian spectators found in the stands. Regarding to figures from the Korea Tourist Company (KTO), around 18,000 Russian tourists visited South Korea in October, a lot more than any additional non-Asian nation except for the US and almost 10,000 a lot more than the next European country.

Russia hosted the last Winter Olympics, at Sochi found in 2014, a good competition which “restored Russia’s status while a leading snowboarding nation,” according to a good 2015 IOC report , and many could have been likely to attend next year’s function.

The increased loss of Russian spectators at the Games could possibly be a major blow to the Winter Olympics, that have typically attracted fewer attendees than the Summer Games.

Lagging ticket sales intended for the Pyeongchang Games appeared to increase in November, striking 52%, slightly better than Sochi for the same period.

Organizers told CNN that they had seen a good spike in domestic revenue after a good concert to market 100 days until the Games, and the subsequent torch relay.

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