Vladimir Putin expects to miss Olympic Opening Ceremony

Vladimir Putin
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Russian president Vladimir Putin will not attend the Rio Olympic Opening Ceremony on Aug. 5, according to Russian media reports Monday, one day after the International Olympic Committee opted against issuing a blanket ban of Russian athletes at the Games.

“No, the president is not planning this trip,” a Putin spokesman said, according to Russian news agency TASS. “The president has a different working schedule.”

Putin could still travel to Rio for competition later in the Games.

“I don’t know so far which decision the president will make,” the spokesman said, according to the report.

Heads of state are traditionally invited to the Olympics by the hosts. Putin was at the 2008 Beijing Opening Ceremony but didn’t make it out to the 2012 London Games until medal competition began.

Of course, Putin attended the Sochi Olympic Opening Ceremony, declaring the Winter Games open.

The last time a U.S. president attended an Olympic Opening Ceremony was George W. Bush in 2008.

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