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
x
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.

You May Like

Video On The Scene: In Ethiopia, 'Are You a Journalist?' Is a Loaded Question

VOA's Anita Powell describes the difficulties faced by reporters in fully conveying the story in a country where people are reticent to share their true opinions More

Nigerians Await New President With High Hopes

When pomp and circumstance of inauguration end in Abuja, Buhari will sit down to the hard task of governing Nigeria More

India's Restrictions on Several NGOs Raise Concerns

Political analysts link recent clampdown on advocacy groups to report last year that said foreign-funded NGO’s negatively impact economic development More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs