As American discourse has devolved, especially politically, perhaps we need to look to the Canadian Olympic contingent for inspiration.
A Russian coach said this week he was verbally harassed in the Olympic village in PyeongChang over the team’s participation at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Remember, Russia isn’t officially participating at the Olympics because of the country’s doping scandal. But athletes from Russia are being allowed to compete officially titled as Olympic Athletes from Russia.
The Canadian Olympic Committee got word the person who harassed the Russian coach might have been a Canadian. So instead of letting the allegations fester, the COC went ahead and issued an apology to the Russian team.
“It was a simple discussion and it was O.K.,” said Eric Myles, the executive director for sport for the Canadian Olympic Committee. “We said, ‘Hey, if something happened we are sorry.’ ”
Myles noted that Canada had apologized even though it didn’t have many details and had been under no obligation to do so. “It’s an emotional time, there’s a lot of action going on internationally with all this situation, and when we heard about this situation, and honestly, it’s not clear,’’ he said. “I don’t know if it was a coach, athlete, was it really a Canadian, honestly, we don’t know that.”
The topic of Russian doping is going to be one of the biggest of the 2018 games and will likely be the second-biggest Friday story after the Opening Ceremonies. The Court of Arbitration for Sport is set to determine if 28 Russian athletes are allowed to compete in the PyeongChang games that day.
Those 28 athletes successfully appealed their doping bans on the grounds of a lack of evidence but were not invited to the Olympics as the International Olympic Committee tries to prevent the widespread doping issues that plagued the 2014 Sochi Games. If the CAS rules in favor of the athletes, they’ll be able to participate in the PyeongChang games. And, ideally, not be harassed by anyone from competing countries.
More Olympics on Yahoo Sports:
• U.S. speed skater Shani Davis angry over not being name flag-bearer
• Shaun White found similiarities between himself and Michael Phelps in ’14
• Twitter reacts to openly gay U.S. figure skater declining to meet with VP Mike Pence
• North Korea’s Olympic participation might be violating international sanctions
• At DMZ, scars remain even as South Korea tries to heal
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