03:42 GMT02 December 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The residents of South Korean Gangwon Province have organized a group of supporters for the Russian team at the upcoming Olympic Games, which will be held in the region, Choi Moon-soon, the governor of the province, told Sputnik.

    "We have organized a special team of supporters to cheer for Russia. We have done everything possible to encourage the Russian athletes [who are in difficult situation] for various reasons… I hope their warm support will overshadow the absence of the Russian flags for the athletes," the governor said.

    Choi said he had been able to reach an agreement with the members of the Russian sports delegation to form a similar supporters group to cheer for the Korean national football team at the upcoming World Cup, which will be held in Russia this summer.

    READ MORE: Putin Apologizes to Athletes That Moscow Didn't Protect Them Amid Olympics Ban

    The Olympic Games, set to take place in Pyeongchang county in South Korea, will begin on February 9.

    The Russian athletes have been forbidden by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to participate in the Olympics under the national flag over alleged doping violations, involving the Russian National Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA).

    The IOC registered 169 athletes and 189 officials as part of the delegation of "Olympic athletes from Russia" to participate in the 2018 Olympic Games in South Korea's Pyeongchang. Eighty trainers will also travel to the Olympics, the press service of the Russian Olympic Committee said.

    A number of leading athletes of the Russian national team in their sports were not included in the list of those invited to the Olympics by the IOC Commission. In particular, short tracker Viktor An, biathlonist Anton Shipulin, skier Sergei Ustyugov and a number of other leading Russian athletes have not received an invitation from the IOC Commission.

    READ MORE: 'Olympic Hockey Without Russia Would Be Like World Cup Soccer Without Brazil'

    Most recently, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that the government will work with international organizations to support Russian athletes who were unable to take part in the 2018 Winter Olympics that will take place in South Korea's Pyeongchang in February.

    2018 Winter Olympic Games, International Olympic Committee (IOC), Pyeongchang, Russia, South Korea
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