Earlier in December, the International Olympic Committee banned the entire country of Russia from competing in the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. While the IOC has allowed individual Russian athletes to play under a neutral banner, the jury is still out on whether the KHL will allow Russian players to play at all.
While the decision is still forthcoming, we may have our first look at the jerseys they could wear if enough athletes decide to form a hockey team under the “Olympic Athletes From Russia” banner.
The leak comes from Russian website R-Sport, who say the Russian Ice Hockey Federation submitted this design, which showcases a generic hockey player silhouette on top of a red shield, to the IOC. The Olympic rings also are prominent on the shoulder of the reported leak. The template of the jersey is what was scheduled to be the base of Russia’s jersey, minus the famous double eagle coat of arms that they usually wear on their chests.
The jersey was leaked to R-Sport by sources “close to the IOC” but translations of the website can only be trusted so far.
Russia will have no presence at all officially by the IOC in the upcoming games. Russian athletes will be under their Olympic delegation and no flag will be presented nor national anthem will play if they medal.
As we approach the one-month mark from the start of the Winter Games, we’ll no doubt hear more from the KHL on its decisions to send Russian athletes to the event. If Russian athletes do play men’s and women’s hockey in the Olympics, these could very well be the jerseys we’d see. Only time will tell.