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It's a Russian gold medal, even without the flag and anthem

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A lot of the talk before the 2018 Winter Olympic Games concerned two things. First, there was much debate about the wisdom of letting 168 Russian athletes compete despite the fact that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had suspended their country over evidence of state-sponsored doping contained in a World Anti-Doping Agency report.

Then there was the consternation among ice hockey fans about the fact that for the first time since Lillehammer in 1994, the world's top league, the National Hockey League (NHL) didn't shut down for a few days to allow its players to participate in the Winter Games.

Read more: Russia beat Germany 4-3 to win gold medal in ice hockey

So what a strange sight it was to watch the ceremony in which the "Olympic Athletes from Russia" (OAR) were awarded their country's first gold medal since 1992, when, not long after the demise of the Soviet Union, players from six former Soviet republics had played under that same Olympic flag as the "United Team."

Here they were again, gold medals around their necks listening not to the Russian, but the Olympic anthem, and watching the Olympic, not the Russian flag being raised to the rafters. Here they were in Pyeongchang,........

© Deutsche Welle