Winter Olympics 2018: Russians want flag at closing ceremony

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Russian athletes hope to parade under their own flag at the Winter Olympics closing ceremony, according to chef de mission Stanislav Pozdnyakov.

The IOC suspended Russia from the Winter Olympics in December following allegations of state-sponsored doping, though a contingent of competitors were granted permission to compete under a neutral banner.

Olympic Athletes from Russia sit 19th in the medal table with three silver and seven bronze, but Pozdnyakov insists their biggest prize would be the right to fly their own flag next Sunday.

"The most important thing for the team's spirit is that we celebrate every medal," he said. 

"We don't divide them into gold, silver, bronze. We don't have the issue of fighting for first place on the medal table, which was the case when we hosted the Olympics. We have very different goals here.

"I spoke about this before, our main goal is to return home with the flag.

"In terms of the closing ceremony, we are ready for any development of the situation, including additional equipment [uniforms and flags].

"We will know whether we will have our flag at the closing ceremony on February 24."