EA CO AS wrote:
It could appear that the request ran afoul of the IOC code of ethics, which prohibits the "solicitation or acceptance of anything other than a token of nominal value" by Olympic athletes.
When does an Olympic athlete cease being an Olympic athlete? Their event was over and they were going home. The purpose of that clause would be to ensure the integrity of the game, but the game had already been played.
I don't know the exact answer, but if I had to venture a guess, presenting themselves as Olympic gold medalists likely means they are to be treated as Olympic athletes. Also, the Tweet was posted on 2/24, one day before the closing ceremony. Since the games were still officially open, I believe they would still count as Olympic athletes.
Muhammed Ali/Cassius Clay won a gold medal at the 1960 Rome Olympics as an amateur boxer.
Almost immediately he turned professional and had a long and distinguished career, but as soon as he turned pro, he could no longer take part any future
Olympic games (or similar "amateur" sports events).
But that Gold Medal stands forever; at the time of the competition he was an amateur and an Olympic athlete, and the history books will always show that..
As soon as that Gold medal had been awarded to him on the podium, and credited to the USA Team total for the games, he could do what he liked.
And even 50 years after the event he could still turn up for a flight and say "Remember me? I won an Olympic Gold back in 1960; any chance of an upgrade?"
I don't believe the timing of the closing ceremony has any bearing on this matter.
Besides - did you not see the photos I posted earlier, showing entire aircraft chartered to transport hundreds of Olympic athletes? Chances are that for a full Olympic squad, it is a very cost effective solution for that country. Especially if the (national) airline can milk some publicity out of the event.
Nothing to see here; move along please.