If you’re asking yourself what is Team OAR? during the Winter Olympics, or you're wondering what country is OAR when you saw athletes dressed in grey during the opening ceremony, you're not alone.
What is OAR in the Olympics?
The term OAR in the Winter Olympics refers to Olympic Athletes from Russia. Basically, it’s Team Russia during the Winter Olympics. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) banned Russia from the 2018 Winter Olympic games because of a doping scandal.
The IOC granted 169 Russian athletes permission to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics under the special team name OAR. The athletes were given “special dispensation” after the IOC determined the athletes were dope free.
As part of the stipulation for the 169 participating athletes for the OAR team, they cannot represent Russia’s flag or wear and colors that are associated with the Russian team. All athletes’ uniforms (competition, training and casual), along with any accessories and equipment must say OAR or Olympic Athlete from Russia.
If an athlete wins a medal during the 2018 Winter Games, the medal is not credited to Russia in any way.
The official “flag” for Team OAR is the generic flag associated with the Olympics.
According to the Olympic conduct guidelines, OAR athletes must “refrain from any public form of publicity, activity and communication associated with the national flag, anthem, emblem and symbol.” Athletes cannot promote Russia in public or through social media in any way.
According to the OAR conduct guidelines issued by the IOC, OAR athletes can only display the Russian flag in their bedrooms at their dorm rooms.
Team OAR athlete guidelines
As of February 12, Team OAR has won two medals. Semen Elistratov won a Bronze medal in the men's 1500 short track speed skating event and the OAR figure skating team earned a silver medal collectively.
Men'short track speed skater Semon Elistratov of Team OAR stands with his bronze medal at the 2018 Winter Games. Credit: Getty Images