Russian skiers prohibited from using song ‘Katyusha’ instead of national anthem at FIS Nordic World Ski Championships


The folk song ‘Katyusha’ will not be played at the upcoming FIS Nordic World Ski Championships instead of the Russian national anthem, which was banned by doping officials as part of sanctions imposed on Russia.

Russian team members, who are prohibited from using national symbols at the global event, will be referred to as the Russian Ski Federation (RSF) with the Russian Olympic Committee’s emblem replacing the national flag during the competition.

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The idea of using the popular patriotic song ‘Katyusha’ for Russian gold-medal winners at the championship was rejected by the International Ski Federation (FIS), which said that the body’s official anthem will be played instead.

‘Katyusha’ is a folk-based song / military march which was composed in 1938 by Matvey Blanter with lyrics from Mikhail Isakovsky.

It gained nationwide popularity during World War II as a patriotic song which inspired people to defend the motherland.

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Members of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) brought forward the idea of using the song at major sporting events after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld WADA’s decision to impose a ban on Russia but reduced the term from four to two years.

The 2021 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships will take place from February 23 to March 7 in Oberstdorf, Germany.

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