Could Russia Get Booted from 2024 Olympics?

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Is it too soon to talk about the 2024 Olympics? Ukrainian President Zelenskyy doesn’t seem to think so, especially as he’s working to get Russia kicked out of the games.

The world’s summer competition will take place in Paris, France. And Russia is among the many countries that routinely send a significant number of competitors to bring home the gold.

There’s just one problem. Russia has committed crimes against humanity against one of its fellow competitors. And the Olympics committee generally frowns on inviting such countries to the competition.

Zelenskyy recently let his opinions be known during a summit of sports officials from over 30 countries. He explained, “While Russia kills and terrorizes, representatives of the terrorist state have no place at sports and Olympic competitions.”

The International Olympic Committee disagrees with  him. They feel it would be discriminatory for athletes from Russia and Belarus to be excluded – especially this far out.

It’s not an easy decision to be made. Many of the qualifying competitions are well underway. And the IOC believes that it’s important for athletes to focus on their sports without national symbols hanging over them.

Zelenskyy’s argument is that if Russian and Belarusian athletes are able to compete, Ukrainian athletes will not be able to partake. Why? Psychological trauma.

It’s possible that Ukraine will boycott, and this won’t be the first time that a country chooses to boycott the Olympics because of the hosting country or because of a country being able to participate.

Last year, many of the Russian and Belarusian athletes were excluded from sporting events due to safety. As ESPN reported, “It has given the federations running individual Olympic sports the final say on the details of readmitting Russian and Belarusian athletes.”

It’s unlikely that the IOC will take a hard line and exclude Russia and Belarus from the competition, but there’s still time for such decisions. As more countries weigh in, we could be looking at quite a few boycotts at the very least.