Russia: Putin awards successful OAR Olympic athletes in Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin met the successful OAR [Olympic Athlete from Russia] athletes who participated in the XXIII Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, and handed them state-honour medals in the Kremlin in Moscow, Wednesday. Olympic gold-winning figure skater Alina Zagitova and silver medallist Evgenia Medvedeva were awarded with the Order of Friendship honour, together with the OAR... Еще hockey team, including the captain of the team Pavel Datsyuk and former SKA St. Petersburg start Ilya Kovalchuk. During the ceremony, Putin also personally congratulated hockey forward Ivan Telegin on his birthday. The Russian leader presented him with a book by legendary ice hockey coach Anatoly Tarasov. In his address to the athletes, Putin mentioned the IOC's decision to reinstate the Russian Olympic Committee's membership in the organisation, saying that «I hope that international organisations will also eventually understand that sport should be kept away from problems that have nothing to do with sports.» Putin also commended the hockey team who defied the IOC's ban and sang the Russian national anthem in Pyeongchang after winning gold, thanking the team for «this attitude to the country and for the attitude to the work, which you have dedicated your life to.»

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