The team of Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation won the men's gold in hockey on Sunday beating Germany 4-3 at the Gangneung Hockey Centre at the ongoing Winter Olympics in South Korea. However, they kept open the possibility of athletes marching under Russian flags during the closing ceremony for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games. The PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games concluded Sunday with Norway (39 medals, 14 gold), Germany (31 medals, 14 gold) and Canada (29 medals, 11 gold) finishing at the top of the medal tally. But the players, arms around each other, sang the Russian anthem instead.
The game was played hours after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided not to restore their delegation's Olympic status, which would have enabled them to march under their flag at the closing ceremony later on Sunday.
Singing the Russian anthem on the field of play is a violation of the IOC's rules on neutrality, which were imposed on Russia as part of sanctions punishing the nation over systematic doping across many sports.
Stocked with former National Hockey League players - Pavel Datsyuk, Ilya Kovalchuk, Slava Voynov, Mikhail Grigorenko and Nikita Nesterov - the Russians were by far the most talented team in the tournament.More news: Trump also met the Mexican president once during the 2016 election campaign
While Germany had knocked off hockey powerhouses Sweden and Canada en route the final, the Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation defeated Czech Republic to compete for their first hockey medal since 2002, when they finished with bronze. That was our dream. Gusev scored his second goal of the night with an incredible backhand shot, and perhaps the most important goal for his team in the entire tournament, sending the game into overtime. "It's great and it feels good".
Joyous players tossed coach Oleg Znarok in the air at center ice as fans let out the same "ROSS-I-YA" chants that filled the arena in Sochi four years ago, where home ice meant nothing as the Russians lost in the quarterfinals. That was my dream for when I was five years old, when I started playing.
Danny Aus den Birken was the backbone for the Germans, making two big saves on a power-play with just over half the period complete.
A silver medal gave Germany its best finish at the Olympics after capturing bronze in 1932 and 1976.More news: Sridevi deserved the stardom she achieved: Kamal Hasan
Beating Germany, which stunned eventual bronze-medalist Canada to reach the final, gave the Russians their first gold medal in hockey since 1992 in Albertville when they competed as the Community of Independent States.
They came back twice from one-goal deficits and took the lead late on a goal by Jonas Muller, who beat Vasili Koshechkin between the legs, only to have their hearts broken by Gusev and Kaprizov.
"We all thought we would be sitting at home watching that final on the couch at home, but here we are", Sturm said. But here we are. "The boys are going to bring silver home and they should be very proud of that".More news: Russian curler stripped of Olympic medal