The Russian hockey squad, which won Olympic gold in a tight, nerve-racking overtime game against Germany, defied the IOC ban at the awards ceremony and sang the words of the national anthem over the Olympic Hymn.
The Olympic hockey final turned out to be a real thriller, with the Russians winning on an overtime goal by Kirill Kaprizov – now hailed as a national hero. The Russian hockey players, who competed in South Korea under a neutral flag, beat Germany 4-3.
The Olympic flag, with its five interlocked rings, was raised in honor of the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) team as the players were awarded their gold medals. But the whole squad along with fans in attendance sang the Russian national anthem, drowning out the Olympic Hymn, despite the IOC banning the country’s athletes from any public activities associated with the national flag, anthem, and other symbols at the Olympics in PyeongChang.
The Russian hockey team once again sang the national anthem on the bus to the airport.
Olympic hockey gold has been elusive for more than two decades for Russia, a country that takes particular pride in the sport. The last time the Red Machine took home gold was 26 years ago, following the breakup of the USSR. The former Soviet hockey players competed for what was then known as the ‘Unified Team,’ which beat Canada 3-1 in the final game. The Unified Team also had the Olympic flag raised for them.
READ MORE: Russian hockey team claims gold in PyeongChang, beating Germany 4-3 in overtime