German Newspaper Ignores Russia In Medal Tally

Thousands of Russians criticized German newspaper Bild for leaving Russia out of its final Olympic medal tally

Russians and Germans wrestled over medals away from the Games as well — REUTERS
Aug 22, 2016 at 7:19 AM ET

As the Rio Olympics drew to a close, Russians celebrated their fourth place finish in the Games by collectively bashing a German newspaper that refused to recognize their successes.

Russia beat Germany in the overall standings, with 56 medals to Germany’s 42—but you wouldn’t know it if you read Germany’s popular tabloid-style newspaper, Bild. Thousands of users on the Russian social network, VK, and on Twitter, criticized Bild after the paper refused to include Russia in its Olympic medal tally.

Bild announced in July that it won’t be considering Russia in its medal tally, in protest of the nation’s alleged state-sanctioned doping. In a statement, it called for the “complete exclusion of Russia” from the Olympic Games. The International Olympic Committee allowed 278 Russian athletes to compete in Brazil, The Guardian reported, while 111 athletes, including Russia’s athletics and weightlifting teams (excluding a sole long jumper, whose ban was overturned), were banned.

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Initially, a small number of users on both VK and Twitter criticized Bild’s decision in early August, but this grew to a crescendo on Sunday as the Olympics wrapped up and Bild published its final medal tally, excluding Russia as promised.

“The Bild newspaper is trying to exclude Russia. How pathetic they are. What a kindergarten,” Ilya Belous, a candidate for Russia’s State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, wrote on Twitter. Also among the dissenters was the All-Russia People’s Front, a political party led by Russian president Vladimir Putin, which tweeted: “Readers of the Bild tabloid won’t be able to see who beat Germany in the fight for fourth place.” Many users posted memes to poke fun at Bild’s decision to exclude Russia from the standings.

Translation: “4. Russia. 5. Germany”

Translation: “Bild readers are not told that the Russian Olympic team has more medals than the German national team. This was pointed out by (Russian writer and publicist) Armen Gasparyan Russophobia is like the 13th row for some superstitious airlines.”

Translation: “Bild is in hysteria. Without the light and heavy athletic sportsmen, without the swimming and boating teams, Russia managed to beat Germany, so they cut the fourth place from their table as if Russia doesn’t exist.”