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Today’s Olympic medalists won’t get pieces of Russian meteorite

Asteroid Hit

This photo provided by The Field Museum in Chicago, taken April 9, 2013, shows pieces of a meteor that exploded over Russia’s Ural Mountains in February after they were catalogued on their arrival at the Chicago museum. The museum received nearly two pounds of small meteorite pieces donated by a collector. After a surprise meteor hit Earth at 42,000 mph and exploded over a Russian city in February, smashing windows and causing minor injuries, scientists studying the aftermath say the threat of space rocks hurtling toward our planet is bigger than they had thought. Meteors like the one that exploded over Chelyabinsk _ and those that are even bigger and more dangerous _ are probably four to five times more likely to hit Earth than scientists thought before the February mid-air explosion, according to three studies released Wednesday in the journals Nature and Science. (AP Photo/Courtesy of The Field Museum, Karen Bean, File)

AP

Plans to give today’s Olympic medalists a piece of the meteorite that exploded over Russia’s Chelyabinsk region one year ago have been nixed by the International Olympic Committee.

Sochi Olympics executive director Gilbert Felli said that the IOC would not mind the meteorite pieces being awarded as long as they were in a separate ceremony after the Games.

“We know the local people of the region there wanted to give an extra gift to the athletes who will get the medals [on Saturday],” Felli said yesterday.

“We have said there is no point to do it during the Games. If they want to give something to the athletes after the Games, they can do it.

“But athletes get the gold medals awarded by the organising committee and there is no extra gift from this region of Russia during the medal presentation.”

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Officials from Chelyabinsk had been behind the plans to give the meteorite pieces to today’s medalists.

Said plans were intended to mark the one-year anniversary of the incident, which saw over 1,200 people injured and over 7,000 structures damaged in the meteorite’s shock wave.

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