It’s definitely more than one athlete in the Russian team. On TV:

on TV

On the web

enter image description here

And they did it all the time till the finals:

enter image description here

Clearly, it wasn't an arbitrary error or slip-up.

  • 1
    They've probably adopted a one-size-fits-all policy. Never works. But POB. Feb 25, 2018 at 9:39
  • My vote goes for typo. Do you fear/think it might be correct in English? Why? It seems odd that one team is Norway while the Russian team is called Olympic Athlete From Russia. Definitely, someone in the newsroom pressed a wrong button.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Feb 25, 2018 at 10:10
  • Not a typo, imo. It goes like this for many days. Also there is alink at the bottom of the question—repeated 10 times over there. Feb 25, 2018 at 10:37
  • It's a translation error. Your link is set at "International English", and someone must have used OAR as a placeholder. The team is Russia see this link on the same website eurosport.com/ice-hockey/pyeongchang/2018/…
    – Mari-Lou A
    Feb 25, 2018 at 11:02
  • 1
    Given they’re doing it consistently all the time during TV broadcasts, it doesnt look like they’ve simply “forgotten “. Looks odd. Feb 25, 2018 at 14:33

1 Answer 1


Olympic Athlete from Russia is the offical English name of the team, although it is widely misrepresented as Olympic Athletes from Russia in a variety of outlets, as athletes would indeed be the far more natural choice.

Olympic Athlete from Russia logo

I would note that the official French name is Athlète Olympique de Russie— also singular, and also widely referred to in the plural (athlètes olympiques) in French news media.

The singular designation thus seems to be intentional, although why it was chosen is a matter the IOC has not divulged. Perhaps this logo and team name appearing on the uniforms would underscore that the wearer is an individual athlete, and not part of a delegation— that is, that OAR is not simply RUS by another name.

Names are names, and aren't required to be natural, or grammatical, or semantically logical, or to follow any other rules, and official names don't necessarily correspond to names found in everyday usage. Prior to this designation, O.A.R. as an initialism was arguably most famous as the name of a band, Of A Revolution, which doesn't really "make sense" to me as a name either.

If you follow the Olympic movement it would not surprise you to see other unusual entries in the list of Olympic programs competing in the Pyeongchang games. Olympic Athlete from Russia is no less jarring than Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia marching in under F when the games are hosted in English-speaking countries, or the even older Chinese Taipei.

  • I don't follow sports but presumably this has to do with the mass doping ban, such that there isn't really a team representing Russia in the normal way
    – Chris H
    Feb 25, 2018 at 19:41
  • 1
    @ChrisH Yes, that is correct. Feb 25, 2018 at 20:27

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