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'Olympic Athletes From Russia' Beat Germany For Hockey Gold, Sing Anthem

Russian hockey players celebrate after netting the winning goal in overtime to win the gold.
Russian hockey players celebrate after netting the winning goal in overtime to win the gold.

The Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) men's hockey team beat Germany 4-3 in overtime to win the gold medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Kirill Kaprizov scored the winning goal after OAR sent the February 25 game into extra time by equalizing in the final minute of regulation.

Germany, which was playing in the men's hockey final for the first time in the country's history, thought it had secured victory when Jonas Mueller scored with 3:16 remaining in regular time to put the Germans ahead 3-2.

But the OAR team sent the game into overtime with Nikita Gusev's second goal of the third period.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) says Russian athletes are not allowed to compete under the Russian flag in South Korea because of Russia's systemic, state-run program of performance enhancing drugs.

The IOC's doping-related punitive measures also forbid the Russian national anthem from being played at the games.

But during the medal ceremony following OAR's victory over Germany, the team’s players sang Russia’s national anthem over the sound of the neutral Olympic anthem.

The men’s hockey victory was only the second gold medal for the OAR team at the Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated the team on the victory in a February 25 telegram, saying the players demonstrated "team spirit, character, and will."

OAR Coach Oleg Snarok told reporters that Putin called him following the win, as did Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and the country's Olympic chief, Aleksandr Zhukov.

"That was very nice," Snarok said.

The victory for the OAR team drew praise across Russia's political landscape as well. Following Kaprizov's winning goal, opposition leader and Kremlin foe Aleksei Navalny tweeted: "Hooray!"

With reporting by AP, Reuters, dpa, and TASS
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