NPR

What It's Like to Visit Russia's 'Sports House' At The Pyeongchang Olympics

In the shadow of a doping scandal, Russian athletes, friends and fans are gathering at a hospitality venue during the Winter Games. "No alcohol," a man at the door warns visitors.
The entrance to the Sports House features paintings of matryoshka dolls. Source: Bill Chappell

Its location isn't a secret, and neither are its ties to Russia – but a visitor can be forgiven for feeling a bit surreptitious on arriving at the Sports House, a party hall for Russian Olympic fans to meet at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

After all, the Russian Olympic Committee is in the doghouse. It was suspended in December, and dozens of its athletes are banned. It had also been widely reported before the Olympics that Russia wouldn't be among the dozen or so countries to open a hospitality venue during the Games.

So we were a bit surprised when we found the Russian Olympic movement had turned a doghouse into

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