The Soviet Union is dead, long live the Soviet Union!
On the website of the London 2012 Olympics
, that is.
Russia is sending 436 athletes to the Olympic Games that get under way this week. But a quick search on its Russian athletes pages finds a handful of Olympians listed as having been born in parts of Russia that, well, aren't parts of Russia -- but were parts of the Soviet Union.
The entry for judo fighter Arsen Galstyan
lists his place and date of birth as "Armenia (RUS)" in 1989, while boxer David Ayrapetyan
is listed as having been born in "Baku (RUS)" six years earlier.
Kazakhstan and Tajikistan were Soviet republics back when boxer Sergei Vodopiyanov and wrestler Khasan Baroev were born in the 1980s. But the now independent countries might be surprised to see the birthplaces of these athletes listed as "Kazakhstan Region (RUS)" and "Dushanbe (RUS)."
But perhaps the most contentious entries are for two wrestlers from the Caucasus.
Denis Tsargush, the site says, hails from "Gudauta (RUS)" -- a city in Abkhazia, the Georgian breakaway republic that Russia and a handful of other nations recognize as independent.
And Besik Kudukhov was born in "Yuzhnaya Osetia (RUS)" -- that's Georgia's other breakaway republic, South Ossetia, that Moscow also recognized as an independent state after a brief war with Georgia in 2008.
Georgia has already sent a letter of protest to the London Games' organizers.
Can you find any other odd entries?
-- Kathleen Moore