In an Unprecedented Move, the International Olympic Committee Has Banned Russia from February’s Games
The 2018 Winter Olympics are happening in 66 days in Pyeongchang, South Korea and while the nation tries to ready itself for the onslaught of thousands of athletes, journalists, and sports fans, there’s one less team that will be participating in the games. Due to an ongoing investigation, the entirety of the Russian team has been banned from competing in the 2018 Winter Games — an unheard of punishment doled out to a country already in the news for its questionable international interactions.
In its announcement, the IOC said that if any individuals from Russia do still qualify for the event (and can pass a barrage of tests to prove they are drug-free), they cannot participate on behalf of their country, and must wear neutral uniforms. Further, if they win in any of their events, the Olympic anthem will play in place of the Russian anthem. While the IOC has banned individual athletes in the past, the New York Times says this is the biggest punishment ever faced by a team in the history of the modern games.
Allegations of doping hit a fever pitch during and after Russia’s 2014 Sochi games, where the in-depth investigations against the country really took hold. At the time, there was evidence suggesting the government was the main sponsor of performance enhancement drugs, so the IOC dug deeper. One German documentary suggested that 99 percent of Russian athletes were on some type of drug, and in 2015, the former head of the International Association of Athletics Foundation was found guilty of accepting bribes to keep quiet and defer sanctions against Russia.
By 2016, it was revealed that hundreds of positive drug tests had been destroyed or gone missing, and many Russian athletes were forced out of that summer’s games in Rio. The entire investigation was made possible by whistle-blowing Russian doctor, Grigory Rodchenkov, who provided the IOC and other enforcing bodies with a database of information on thousands of Russian athletes who benefited from the state-sponsored doping program, corroborating a 2015 report that said the same.
IOC president Thomas Bach said in the committee’s official announcement that the ban was in response to what they considered an “unprecedented attack the integrity of the Olympic Games and sport.” Besides the nation’s ban for the 2018 Winter Games, 25 members of the team have been banned for life from participating in the Olympics in any capacity. As well, the Russian Olympic Committee has been ordered to repay the IOC for the investigation in full as well as donate to the foundation of an Independent Testing Authority (ITA) to the tune of $15 million USD TOTAL. The IOC also said they may or may not lift the ban in part or in full at the end of the Pyeongchang games, with that decision TBD on whether the org believes the Russians have completed their list of requests, or are working towards them in a reasonable way.
What makes this punishment seem even harsher is that even at the height of the Cold War, the then-USSR was allowed to compete in the Olympic games, something that befuddled people before the fall of communism. The ban could have further reaching effects on international relations outside the quad-annual sporting event, but at press time, no one in the ROC or Russian government has made a statement about the ban.
What do you think about this bold move by the IOC? Tell us @BritandCo!
(Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty)
Pocket doors are so delightful in and of themselves. They appear when you need them, get tucked away when you don't, and make it easy to define rooms while keeping an open floor plan. Add to the pocket door a joyful patterned wallpaper surprise, and you will be sent right into fits of visual jubilation! Or something ;) Today we're sharing two simple and impactful pocket door makeovers that zhuzh up your space in a jiffy.
Anjelika Temple here, co-founder of Brit + Co and proud owner of several pocket doors! When I moved into my first real grown-up house a couple years ago, I knew I wanted to incorporate wallpaper so reached out to our friends at Chasing Paper to see how we might collaborate. It felt like a total lightbulb moment when I realized I could create a surprise pop of pattern on a couple sets of pocket doors.
Not only is it a whimsical way to bring color into a space, but the doors double as picture-perfect backdrops for all your SFH (selfies from home, obvs).
A few pro tips about install:
- Removable wallpaper is miraculously forgiving! You can take it on and off multiple times without it losing integrity (or mucking up your surface).
- I ordered this adhesive wallpaper installation kit with a squeegee and xacto knife and it worked super well. I also recommend a sharp pair of scissors for cutting longer lines.
- This is a two-person job! Get a friend, put on a playlist, and get ready to bond.
- Wild, organic patterns like Tally are great because it's challenging to spot any imperfections in pattern alignment; keep pattern choice in mind if you've got a lot of corners to match up. More geometric patterns and larger shapes leave less room for error (but are awesome in their own right!).
BATHROOM POCKET DOORS
In our primary bathroom, we chose the wallpaper pattern Tally, designed by Kelly Ventura, in White and Navy. In our space, the navy reads as a soft black, which is perfect for the space. It's easy to combine an ever-rotating collection of linens with the Tally pattern.
I love how the white trim becomes the perfect frame around this pocket door piece of art.
My favorite moment in this space is the fact that you actually get a third pop of pattern thanks to our serendipitously placed mirror!
And yes, this one works pretty darn well as a backdrop too ;)
LIVING ROOM DOUBLE DOORS
This set of doors is definitely a focal point of our home. It separates our living room from our primary bedroom which opens onto our backyard. The doors are pretty much always open, but when they're closed we wanted to evoke a fun, nature-inspired vibe. With that in mind, we selected the Lines and Moons pattern by Thimblepress in Green and Brown.
Earth mama vibes up in here! I love how the shapes and colors echo the ferns you see through the windows and the acorn wood details throughout the house.
Love this pattern moment, and xacto-ing out the door handle is def on the oddly satisfying DIY list.
For a pattern lover like me, I love that now I have this instant photo backdrop!
Thanks to Chasing Paper for providing these rolls of pure pattern amazingness. Head to chasingpaper.com to find our own favorites and start adding patterns to your home!
(Wallpaper wingwoman: Kayla Haykin; Photography: Kurt Andre)