Home Featured ‘Hit them in the face,’ Lukashenko tells Belarusian athletes ahead of Olympics – POLITICO
‘Hit them in the face,’ Lukashenko tells Belarusian athletes ahead of Olympics – POLITICO

‘Hit them in the face,’ Lukashenko tells Belarusian athletes ahead of Olympics – POLITICO

by host

“Anger in sports is important,” Lukashenko said. “If you have already qualified and are going there in a neutral status, hit them in the face, show them that you are a real Belarusian,” he continued.

Lukashenko has not clarified whether his comments were made in a spirit of sporting competitiveness, or if the implication was literal.

The leader added that if Belarusians emerge victorious during the games, it will be a good tool for Belarusian politicians. “Then we can also hit them in the face politically,” he said.

Russian and Belarusian competitors taking part as neutral athletes will be barred from participating in the opening ceremony parade of delegations.

Their national anthems will not be played during the award ceremonies, and their national colors, flags, and any other identification are also banned.

Athletes who are contracted by the military of Belarus and Russia, or actively support the invasion of Ukraine, will not be eligible to take part. Belarusian and Russian state officials will not be invited or accredited to the games, which run from July 26 to August 11.

The committee estimated some 30 Russians and 20 Belarusians will qualify to take part in this year’s Summer Olympics.

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