Plans to give today’s Olympic medalists a piece of the meteorite that exploded over Russia’s Chelyabinsk region one year ago have been nixed by the International Olympic Committee.
Sochi Olympics executive director Gilbert Felli said that the IOC would not mind the meteorite pieces being awarded as long as they were in a separate ceremony after the Games.
“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],” Felli said yesterday.
“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 organising committee and there is no extra gift from this region of Russia during the medal presentation.”
Officials from Chelyabinsk had been behind the plans to give the meteorite pieces to today’s medalists.
Said plans were intended to mark the one-year anniversary of the incident, which saw over 1,200 people injured and over 7,000 structures damaged in the meteorite’s shock wave.