The Opening Ceremonies haven’t even happened yet in PyeongChang and we already have our first “international incident” of the Olympics. You would think that the first big drama would involve North Korea (which held a military parade next door yesterday) or the United States (which is currently feuding with everyone) but nope; this little spat was apparently Canada’s fault. Oops.
Officials are being pretty hush-hush about the details, but it looks like there was a “cafeteria discussion” between an unidentified Canadian and a Russian coach earlier this week that resulted in the need for the Canadian Olympic Committee to issue an official apology. They would not say whether the Canadian involved was an athlete, a coach or support personnel.
Equally shrouded in mystery is the topic of the exchange, although speculation is that it had something to do with the proven Russian doping scheme and the country’s subsequent ban from the games. According to the COC executive director of sport, Eric Myles, the Committee themselves has very little information.
“When we heard about this situation — honestly it’s not clear — I don’t know if it was a coach, athlete, was it really a Canadian?” he said in a press conference Thursday.
“This morning we had an opportunity to have a discussion between the two organizations and everything is okay,” Myles added, “We said ‘Hey, if something happened, we’re sorry.'” The Committee also issued a memo to the entire Canadian team about keeping behaviour polite and professional.
On the Russian side, Olympic official Stanislav Pozdnyakov did not offer additional details, but said that disdain for the team was a fear they had going into the games since there has been so much international backlash to the doping investigation. He said that this was the only incident so far and that it is resolved since “the head of the Canadian mission has apologized for the behaviour of this specialist.”
Back home, the fact that the Canadian team apologized without even fully understanding the situation or if the person in question was even Canadian is so on brand for us, it’s comical.
Nobody’s sure exactly what happened, but Canada’s Olympic team has apologized anyway after a cafeteria incident between a Canadian and a Russian in Pyeongchang: https://t.co/bow2ZRr3XA
— CBC News Alerts (@CBCAlerts) February 8, 2018
. @CBCAlerts How typically Cdn. “We don’t know why, but we’re sorry anyway”
— AM Campbell (@AMCampbell71) February 8, 2018
Canada always verifying our stereotypes. https://t.co/LGuD4aSS2X
— Sam Anderson (@Git_Shiddy) February 8, 2018
“Sorry if your feelings were hurt when I spoke plainly about your country’s state-sanctioned doping program that has cheated countless athletes out of medals.” https://t.co/bUn2xSWBO6
— Rick Westhead (@rwesthead) February 8, 2018
Let’s hope the next time Canadians make Olympic news it’s for sports, not drama.
— Robert Albaugh (@rla785) February 8, 2018