Belarus, Guatemala and Russia Won’t Be At The 2024 Paris Summer Olympics

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No Olympics for Putin’s Russia as a nation.

It is down to just 366 days or a year, 2024 is a leap year, before the start of the Paris Olympics and three countries are not getting invitations to the event when the mail is sent out. Apparently there is some sort of Olympics custom that invitations are mailed out exactly one year before the International Olympic Committee’s crown jewel summer event. Belarus, Guatemala and Russia are not getting asked to the ball for different reasons. Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022 and the Russians have received aid from Belarus in its war with Ukraine. The International Olympic Committee is unhappy with Guatemala’s government and the country’s Olympic Committee and is punishing Guatemalan athletes by not letting them participate in the Paris event.

The decision to suspend Belarus and Russia’s teams is easy to explain. Russia invaded Ukraine for whatever reason the Russian President Vladimir Putin had in February 2022 and Belarus is a Russian ally. To complicate Olympics matters, Russia launched the invasion during the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics which apparently runs afoul of some Olympics’ creed of don’t start a war during our global sports party. There is a loophole though which could allow both Russian and Belarussian athletes to compete in Paris. Individual athletes holding passports from Russia or Belarus may not be banned from Paris next year. Meanwhile Guatemala remains suspended from the Olympic movement because of alleged government interference with the independence of the National Olympic Committee. The IOC President Thomas Bach warned governments to stay out of the sports body’s decision. “It is not up to governments to decide who can take part in which sports competitions, because this would be the end of international sports competitions and world championships and the Olympic Games as we know it.” The IOC acts like a sovereign nation and has permanent observer status at the United Nations.

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Evan can be reached at evan_weiner@hotmail.com