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Independent Athletes at the Winter Olympics

Occasionally athletes will not be able to compete for their country, for instance when their country's Olympic Committee has been suspended. At the Winter Olympics, this has occerred at the 2014 and 2018 Games, and more often at the Summer Olympics. See more information about Independent athletes at the Summer Olympics.

2018 Winter Olympic Games

Russia were banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics. Individual athletes who had qualified and were also able to demonstrate they had complied with the IOC's doping regulations were allowed to compete under the Olympic flag as "Olympic Athletes from Russia."

2014 Winter Olympic Games

At the 2014 Sochi Olympics opening ceremony, three athletes from India marched under the Olympic flag as Independent Athletes (Independent Olympic Participants). This is because at the time the Indian Olympic Association was suspended by the IOC.

The Athletes were Shiva Keshavan in luge, cross country skier Nadeem Iqbal and Alpine skier Himanshu Thakur.

However, the IOC subsequently lifted the country's suspension, in time for Nadeem Iqbal and Himanshu Thakur to compete under their nation's flag, and all three walked behind the Indian flag at the Closing Ceremony. Therefore it was only luge athlete Shiva Keshavan who competed as an Independent Athlete.

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Olympics Extra

The next Olympics will be in Paris 2024, followed by the Winter edition in Milan-Cortina 2026. Check out the list of Olympic Games sports, as well as discontinued and demonstration sports.

Major Events Extra

The largest sporting event in the world is the Olympic Games, but there are many other multi-sport games. In terms of single sport events, nothing beats the FIFA World Cup. To see what's coming up, check out the calendar of major sporting events.

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