For an attorney at the 2018 Winter Olympic games, an Olympics without a scandal means more time to be a spectator than an official.
With the biggest controversy to come out of the Pyeongchang Olympics coming before the opening ceremony, Stephen Hess, a Sherman & Howard partner and chairman of the appeals tribunal for the International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, participated in that spectator role. Although his involvement was more passive than it had been when he traveled to Sochi, Russia, for the 2014 Winter Olympics, he did have a close view of the games as well as some of the issues that face international sports.
With the games absent any cheating, impropriety or rule issues, his time in South Korea involved a tour of the North Korean DMZ, including a performance by an electric cello player accompanying a Yo-Yo artist — an event with a surreal juxtaposition of attractions, he said.
DOPING AT THE GAMES
At the start of this year’s games, Russia appealed a decision from the International Olympic Committee to ban its team from competing. Russia was hoping to get 45 athletes cleared to compete just a few hours before the opening ceremony. The Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld the IOC decision and said that it was an eligibility decision and not a sanction against the country. Ultimately, there was no Russian team in this year’s games, but a group of athletes were allowed to compete as Olympic Athletes from Russia.