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South Korea: Russia is crucial for Olympics. U.S.: We could stay home

Staff Writer |
South Korea voiced regret over the decision to ban Russia from the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

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They are saying the participation of the country's athletes was crucial to the success of the event.

The South Korean sports ministry urged Russian athletes to compete as neutrals following the International Olympic Committee's unprecedented ban, saying in a statement it had "worked hard over the past seven years to make meticulous preparations" for a peaceful and harmonious Games.

"The participation of winter sports athletes from around the world, including Russia, is the key to the success of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and a crucial factor in realizing the Olympic spirit," said the ministry, which is responsible for preparing the Games.

Whether US athletes will be able to attend the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea remains an "open question," US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Wednesday night.

The Winter Olympics are set to be held February 9-25 in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The situation with neighboring North Korea, which has grown increasingly hostile while pursuing its nuclear ambitions, is "changing by the day," Haley said on Fox News, making the security of U.S. athletes uncertain.

Still, Haley said she believes President Donald Trump's administration will work to "find out the best way" to make sure the athletes are protected.


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