When the Indian contingent walks out for the athletes parade during the opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics on Friday, one significant aspect will be missing - there will be no Indian flag.
Where to Watch Live
The opening ceremony is scheduled for a 7 pm local time (9.30 pm IST) start with live coverage on Star Sports 4 and Star Sports HD2. There is no official live streaming option available on StarSports.com at the moment. Viewers in the UK can catch the coverage on BBC, with the live streaming option HERE, HERE or HERE.
Viewers in Australia catch the action live online via the Ten Network HERE. NBC has the rights to showcase the Olympics in the US, and the audience can watch all the action live online HERE, except for the opening ceremony which will have a delayed coverage on Friday night. Viewers in Africa can catch the action live via SuperSport HERE.
With the IOC de-recognising the Indian Olympic Association for its seriously dysfunctional functioning, the three Indian athletes - luger Shiva Keshavan, alpine skier Himanshu Thakur and cross-country skier Nadeem Iqbal - will be performing under the Olympic flag, not the Indian one.
"It's a very sad situation for us," Keshavan said. "We are amateur athletes and our only pride is to represent our country. "It's a big disappointment to compete under the other flag.
"But we understand the IOC action because we have a lot of problems with corruption in sports. We have so many mountains, we have 3,000 kilometres of Himalayas but not enough facilities for training. I hope the IOC decision will help to change the situation for the good in the future."
Of course, none of the Indian athletes are seriously expected to compete for a medal in Sochi, but the mere fact that they will not be technically representing India is just a pity. But Keshavan said that will not take the complete gloss away from competing in such a great occasion as the Olympics.
"It's amazing to be here as every Olympics are very special for me," he said. "Russia is a new experience as I always was curious about the country. Being here in Sochi is great as there are great sporting facilities here."
The opening ceremony, as it always is, is expected to be yet another grand festival of colours, art and fireworks, with several big wigs from Russia and beyond expected to be present.
The show will be hosted by Russian celebrities Ivan Urgant and Yana Churikova.