NO-bani! Russia Won't Let USOC Sponsor Ship Product to Sochi
Strained greek yogurt may be the latest casualty of the tense relationship between U.S. and Russia. U.S.O.C. sponsor, Chobani, got the cold shoulder when it tried to send its product to Sochi earlier this week as part of the company's multi-million dollar sponsorship and with the Games just two days away, Russian customs officials are reportedly preventing the shipment from traveling through to Sochi. Until the situation can be resolved, the Upstate New York company says 5,000 single-serve cups of blueberry, strawberry and peach Chobani, and multi-serve containers of plain Chobani yogurt for smoothies, are being held in a temperature-controlled facility at Newark Airport.
On Tuesday, government officials came to the defense of the U.S.O.C. sponsor with U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer calling on the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and the head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, to permit the shipment to enter Sochi for U.S. Olympic athletes.
“Chobani Yogurt is safe, nutritious and delicious and the Russian Authorities should get past ‘nyet’ and let this prime sponsor of the US Olympic Team deliver their protein-packed food to our athletes,” said Schumer.
As it stands, it's not just American product that will be missing in Sochi. According to Businessweek, the Sochi games may attract the fewest American tourists to a Winter Games in two decades amid terrorism concerns, a lack of luxury hotel rooms, and difficulties procuring visas.