There was a mysterious incident between Canada and Russia at the Olympics, and no one knows what prompted it

  • There was reportedly an incident between the Canadians and a Russian coach at the Olympic village cafeteria, but it's unclear what happened.
  • The Russians reportedly called it "negative treatment" of a coach.
  • Though Russia is officially banned from the Olympics for doping violations, 169 Russian athletes are at the games under the title Olympic Athletes from Russia, leading to some controversy.


In the opening week of the 2018 Winter Olympics, there was reportedly an incident involving the Canadian Olympic delegation and a Russian, though it remains a complete mystery.

According to CBC News, in the Olympic village cafeteria, there was an "exchange" between what's believed to be a member of the Canadian Olympic team and a Russian coach, but the details are sparse.

Russia doesn't have a formal Olympic team as a result of its doping scandal, but 169 Russian athletes were cleared to compete under a neutral flag as Olympic Athletes from Russia.

See some of the athletes around the Olympic Village: 

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Olympic athletes from Russia in Pyeongchang
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Olympic athletes from Russia in Pyeongchang
PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 8, 2018: Olympic freestyle skier Lyubov Nikitina from Russia seen in the Olympic village of Pyeongchang prior to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Sergei Bobylev/TASS (Photo by Sergei Bobylev\TASS via Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 8, 2018: Olympic freestyle skiers Marika Pertakhiya (R) and Yekaterina Stolyarova from Russia seen in the Olympic village of Pyeongchang prior to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Sergei Bobylev/TASS (Photo by Sergei Bobylev\TASS via Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 8, 2018: Olympic freestyle skier Regina Rakhimova from Russia seen in the Olympic village of Pyeongchang prior to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Sergei Bobylev/TASS (Photo by Sergei Bobylev\TASS via Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 8, 2018: Olympic freestyle skier Kristina Spiridonova from Russia seen in the Olympic village of Pyeongchang prior to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Sergei Bobylev/TASS (Photo by Sergei Bobylev\TASS via Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 8, 2018: Olympic freestyle skier Kristina Spiridonova from Russia seen during a training session in the Olympic village of Pyeongchang prior to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Sergei Bobylev/TASS (Photo by Sergei Bobylev\TASS via Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 8, 2018: Olympic freestyle skier Kristina Spiridonova from Russia seen in the Olympic village of Pyeongchang prior to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Sergei Bobylev/TASS (Photo by Sergei Bobylev\TASS via Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 8, 2018: Olympic freestyle skier Kristina Spiridonova from Russia holds stuffed toys of Soohorang and Bandabi, the official mascots of the 23rd Winter Olympic Games and the 12th Winter Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang respectively, in the Olympic village of Pyeongchang prior to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Sergei Bobylev/TASS (Photo by Sergei Bobylev\TASS via Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 8, 2018: Olympic athletes from Russia work out during a training session in the Olympic village of Pyeongchang prior to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Sergei Bobylev/TASS (Photo by Sergei Bobylev\TASS via Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 8, 2018: Olympic freestyle skier Pavel Krotov from Russia seen in the Olympic village of Pyeongchang prior to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Sergei Bobylev/TASS (Photo by Sergei Bobylev\TASS via Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 8, 2018: Olympic freestyle skier Yekaterina Stolyarova from Russia seen in the Olympic village of Pyeongchang prior to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Sergei Bobylev/TASS (Photo by Sergei Bobylev\TASS via Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 8, 2018: Olympic freestyle skiers Marika Pertakhiya (L) and Yekaterina Stolyarova from Russia seen in the Olympic village of Pyeongchang prior to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Sergei Bobylev/TASS (Photo by Sergei Bobylev\TASS via Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 8, 2018: Olympic freestyle skier Alina Gridneva from Russia seen during a training session in the Olympic village of Pyeongchang prior to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Sergei Bobylev/TASS (Photo by Sergei Bobylev\TASS via Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 8, 2018: Olympic freestyle skiers Pavel Krotov (L) and Stanislav Nikitin from Russia work out during a training session in the Olympic village of Pyeongchang prior to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Sergei Bobylev/TASS (Photo by Sergei Bobylev\TASS via Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 8, 2018: Olympic freestyle skier Maxim Burov from Russia seen in the Olympic village of Pyeongchang prior to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Sergei Bobylev/TASS (Photo by Sergei Bobylev\TASS via Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 8, 2018: Olympic freestyle skier Regina Rakhimova from Russia embroidering in the Olympic village of Pyeongchang prior to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Sergei Bobylev/TASS (Photo by Sergei Bobylev\TASS via Getty Images)
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CBC's Heather Hiscox reported that the Russians called it "negative treatment" toward one of their coaches.

Whatever occurred, the incident prompted the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) to send a memo to all other National Organizing Committees (NOC), apologizing and saying they don't condone any misbehavior.

However, even the Canadian delegation is unclear what happened. COC executive director of sport Eric Myles said they apologized to cover themselves.

"This morning we had an opportunity to have a discussion between the two organizations and everything is okay," Myles said. "We said 'Hey, if something happened, we're sorry.'"

He added: "When we heard about this situation - honestly it's not clear - I don't know if it was a coach, athlete, was it really a Canadian?"

There has been tension leading up to the games over the inclusion of the Russian athletes, with some delegations feeling that the IOC didn't do enough to punish Russia for its state-sponsored doping scheme. Dick Pound, a former member of the IOC and the World Anti-Doping Agency said the IOC "let down" athletes.

Thomas Bach, the president of the IOC, responded by saying he's been personally thanked by athletes for banning Russians.

While the incident doesn't appear to be particularly serious, it will be worth monitoring tensions between the Russian athletes and other nations.

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