Ukraine Paralympics cross-country protest

Ukraine Paralympians cover medals during Russian anthem

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Ukraine’s silver medal-winning cross-country relay team covered their medals with their hands during the Russian national anthem in an awards ceremony at the Paralympics in Sochi on Saturday.

Russian forces have been in the Ukraine region of Crimea since late last month. Here’s NBC News’ coverage of the Crimea situation.

“It is a silent protest, fighting for peace for everyone … because the situation in Ukraine didn’t change,” said Ukraine team official Nataliya Harach, according to The Associated Press. “It is not a political protest … we don’t want any disqualifications.”

Russia won the gold medal in the 4×2.5km cross-country relay, so its anthem was played during the podium ceremony Saturday. Ukraine won silver ahead of France.

Ukraine made news at the Opening Ceremony on March 7, when only one of its athletes marched at Fisht Stadium, its flag bearer. The Paralympics finish Sunday.

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Seb Coe splits from Nike as IAAF president

Sebastian Coe
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International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) President Sebastian Coe announced in a press conference Thursday that he dropped his sponsorship deal with Nike, according to reports.

He was sponsored by the brand going back to his days as a professional athlete – he won the 1,500m in 1980 and 1984. His role at Nike included acting as an international advisor and campaign ambassador for “Designed to Move,” aimed at tackling lethargy, Sports Illustrated said.

Coe was voted into office as IAAF president in August for a four-year term, but had since been under scrutiny by British media over the potential conflict of interest. Previously, he acted as the head of the London 2012 Olympic Organizing Committee.

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Hamburg voters to decide on 2024 Olympic bid

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HAMBURG, Germany (AP) – Hamburg’s bid for the 2024 Olympics faces a public referendum Sunday among voters in the north German port city.

Organizers hope the bid that has already been submitted to the International Olympic Committee won’t share the same fate as Munich’s proposed candidacy for the 2022 Winter Games. That bid was rejected in a referendum.

German Olympic Sports Confederation president Alfons Hoermann says “we’re giving the baton to the people of Hamburg and Kiel,” referring to the nearby city where sailing events would be held.

More than 40 percent of the 1.3 million people eligible to vote have already done so through a postal ballot.

Hoermann says “the excellent turnout that has emerged shows the Olympic Games project has been taken on by the city.”

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