Sochi 2014: What's the deal with independent Olympic athletes?

Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

You may have seen three athletes march into Fisht Olympic Stadium under an Olympic flag, not a national flag. What's the deal with that?

SB Nation 2014 Olympics Preview

Three athletes will compete under the Olympic flag at the 2014 Winter Games after their national Olympic association was suspended by the International Olympic Committee.

India's Shiva Keshavan, a luger, Himanshu Thakur, a skier, and Nadeem Iqbal, also a skier, do not officially have a country in Sochi. In Dec. 2012, the IOC suspended India's Olympic committee over issues with their election of commitee leaders. In short, the IOC claims the Indian Olympic Committee is corrupt.

The Daily Beast has a great explainer if you want the long version:

In December 2012, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspended the Indian Olympic Association's (IOA) membership after the IOA elected an official who was named in millions of dollars of corruption with criminal charges still pending. To regain acceptable status, the IOC required the IOA redraft its constitution and hold new elections before the start of next Games, in this case the Sochi Opening Ceremonies on Feb. 7. So, of course, ever-disobedient, the IOA opted to hold the elections two days after on Feb. 9.

Maybe the Indians will be back officially for the 2016 Summer Games in Rio. Until then, consider this their national "Walk Of Shame."

More on the Winter Olympics:

Meet Team USA's brightest Winter Olympic athletes

The Sochi Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony drinking game

Jon Bois: A collection of complete lies about the Olympics

Miracle Put on Ice: 1984 US hockey team never had a chance

Hockey: Men’s schedule | All 12 men’s rosters | USA roster analysis

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