News / Europe

Meteorite Gift Too Spacey for Olympics, Rules IOC

Reporters gather around a piece of a meteorite, which according to local authorities and scientists, was lifted from the bottom of the Chebarkul Lake, placed on display in a local museum in Chelyabinsk, Russia, Oct. 18, 2013.
Reporters gather around a piece of a meteorite, which according to local authorities and scientists, was lifted from the bottom of the Chebarkul Lake, placed on display in a local museum in Chelyabinsk, Russia, Oct. 18, 2013.
Reuters
— The International Olympic Committee has shot down plans to give Saturday's medal-winning athletes at the Sochi Games a piece of a meteorite that exploded over Russia a year ago.
    
In this frame grab made from a video done with a dashboard camera, on a highway from Kostanai, Kazakhstan, to Chelyabinsk region, Russia, provided by Nasha Gazeta newspaper, February 15, 2013 a meteorite contrail is seen. A meteor streaked across the skyIn this frame grab made from a video done with a dashboard camera, on a highway from Kostanai, Kazakhstan, to Chelyabinsk region, Russia, provided by Nasha Gazeta newspaper, February 15, 2013 a meteorite contrail is seen. A meteor streaked across the sky
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In this frame grab made from a video done with a dashboard camera, on a highway from Kostanai, Kazakhstan, to Chelyabinsk region, Russia, provided by Nasha Gazeta newspaper, February 15, 2013 a meteorite contrail is seen. A meteor streaked across the sky
In this frame grab made from a video done with a dashboard camera, on a highway from Kostanai, Kazakhstan, to Chelyabinsk region, Russia, provided by Nasha Gazeta newspaper, February 15, 2013 a meteorite contrail is seen. A meteor streaked across the sky
The fireball, traveling at a speed of 30 km (19 miles) per second, exploded on February 15, 2013 over Chelyabinsk, some 1,500 km (950 miles) east of Moscow, injuring 1,200 people following a massive shock wave.
    
Chelyabinsk region officials had wanted to mark the anniversary by giving athletes who won a medal at the Olympics on Saturday a piece of it but the IOC said it could only be done after the Games and separately.
    
"We know the local people of the region there wanted to give an extra gift to the athletes who will get the medals [on Saturday]," Olympic Games Executive Director Gilbert Felli said on Friday.  "We have said there is no point to do it during the Games. If they want to give something to the athletes after the Games they can do it."
    
"But athletes get the gold medals awarded by the organizing committee and there is no extra gift from this region of Russia during the medal presentation," added Felli.
    
The IOC is fiercely protective of its brand, keeping the Games free from any outside involvement, especially during the competitions and the medal ceremonies that command multi-million audiences around the world.
    
The fields of play are also advertising-free despite the IOC's estimated $1.0 billion revenues from top sponsors for the period 2013-2016.

Photo Gallery: Winter Olympics Day 6

  • Shani Davis of the U.S. skates in the prototype of the official US Speedskating suit during a training session at the Adler Arena Skating Center at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 14, 2014.
  • Latvia goaltender Edgars Masalskis reaches to block a shot on goal by the Czech Republic in the third period of a men's ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 14, 2014.
  • The two-man team from Monaco MON-1, piloted by Patrice Servelle, start a run during a training session for the men's two-man bobsled at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 14, 2014.
  • This multiple exposure photo shows the Sweden curling team throwing during a round robin session against China in the Ice Cube Curling Center at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 14, 2014.
  • Norway’s Haavard Vad Petersson and Torger Nergaard sweep ahead of the rock during men's curling competition against Canada at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 14, 2014.
  • Workers groom the women's downhill course at the Rosa Khutor Alpine center at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 14, 2014.
  • Evgenii Itbaev leaps as a friend takes her picture near the Olympic Cauldron at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 14, 2014.
  • Norway's Chris Andre Jespersen wears a cut suit as he gets to the finish area after completing the men's 15K classical-style cross-country race at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 14, 2014.
  • Swiss fans wear cow costumes and national flags at the Alpine ski venue for the men's supercombined at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 14, 2014.

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