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Winter Olympics 2018

O.A.R. you listening? Russian athletes revive rock band

The Olympic Athletes from Russia in Pyeongchang have helped boost the popularity of largely forgotten US rock band O.A.R.

O.A.R. you listening? Russian athletes revive rock band
(Getty Images)

Russia's doping scandal has been an unexpected boon for an American rock band.

Russia were officially banned as a country from the 2018 Winter Olympics, but the International Olympic Committee permitted 169 of their athletes to compete in Pyeongchang under the label 'Olympic Athletes from Russia'.

That moniker has been abbreviated to O.A.R., which just happens to be the same name as a band that was at the height of its popularity from 2005-08.

Because O.A.R. has been mentioned so much during the Olympics, the band has seen a resurgence in popularity.

"It's kind of nice that people hear about OAR the athletes, go 'Oh yeah, I remember that band,' look us up and there's a new song and a tour coming your way,'" O.A.R. lead singer Marc Roberge told ESPN on Tuesday. "It's been surreal, absolutely surreal.

"At first I thought it would be a cool coincidence, maybe somebody would mention it on TV or something. But now, every single morning I'm getting phone calls, emails, text messages. Family, friends, strangers. It's pretty wild to think somebody is watching the Olympics and thinking about us."

The band's most popular song was a 2008 release called 'Shattered (Turn the Car Around)'.

O.A.R. performed during the 2015 Special Olympics in Los Angeles and recorded a song with B.o.B. called 'Champions' for the 2012 Games in London.

"They never say Olympic Athlete from Russia. It's O.A.R. over and over and over," Roberge told ESPN. "This is the most coverage our band name has ever had. Everyone, everywhere, all around the world saying O.A.R."


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