IOC president Thomas Bach took a shot at Russian doping during his speech at opening ceremony

  • The Winter Olympics officially began on Friday with the opening ceremony at Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium.
  • After the parade of nations, IOC president Thomas Bach gave a speech that took a clear shot at Russia, saying athletes must “respect the rules and stay clean.”
  • Russia is not being formally recognised at these Olympics due to sanctions against the country for widespread doping among athletes.

The 2018 Winter Olympics officially kicked off on Friday with opening ceremony at Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium.

After the parade of nations, all of the athletes settled into their seats and were welcomed with a speech from International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach. The speech was inviting for the most part, encouraging athletes to enjoy the games and speaking to how the North and South Korean delegations walking out together sent “a powerful message of peace to the world.”

But there was one moment of Bach’s speech that stood out from the rest – when the IOC president appeared to take a shot at Russia and their ongoing doping scandal.

“You can only really enjoy your Olympic performance if you respect the rules, and stay clean,” Bach said. “Only then will your life-long memories be the memories of a true and worthy Olympian.”

The comments were met with an awkward, somewhat muted applause by the athletes.

Russia are not officially recognised at this year’s Winter Olympics due to the country’s widespread doping scandal involving Olympic athletes. Instead, Russian participants in the Winter Games are being referred to as “Olympic Athletes from Russia” and will compete under the Olympic flag. The group was also not allowed a flag bearer during the parade of nations, and were forced to wear neutral colours for their entrance to the games.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.