Following the conclusion of the 2018 Winter Olympics, the Russian government rewards its team.
During a ceremony held last Wednesday, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev presented each gold medalist with a BMW X5 xDrive30d, the silver medalists were given an X4 xDrive 30d, and the bronze winners took home the less powerful X4 xDrive 20d. Russian Olympians brought home a haul of 17 medals, 2 gold, 6 silvers, and 9 bronze medals from the 2018 games, however, they were forced to compete as Olympic Athletes from Russia instead of an actual Russian Olympic team.
This was after the International Olympic Committee officially banned the Russian Olympic Federation following a state-sponsored doping program. In total, 47 of the special white BMWs were handed out, largely due to the gold-medal winning men's hockey team and silver-medal winning figure skating squad, who were also recipients of lavish praise from Russia's President, Vladimir Putin, in addition to their new crossovers. The cars were presented by the Russian Olympic Foundation and were supplied by BMW Russia from its facility in Kaliningrad. "We are proud that the Russian Olympians Foundation has again chosen the BMW brand as a partner of the ceremony.
"Winter sports traditionally reflect the philosophy and values of the BMW Group, and over the years the concern has sponsored sports disciplines such as biathlon, cross-country skiing, bobsleigh and luge," said BMW Group General Director Stefan Toichert. The Russian government has gifted BMWs to medal winning athletes in the past. Controversy ensued following the 2016 summer games in Rio when one of the cars showed up for sale online just days after they were presented.