Cobhani blueberry strawberry us athletes sochi ol
Chobani had planed to send single-serve containers of blueberry, strawberry, and peach yogurt to U.S. Athletes in Sochi. (Courtesy of Chobani)

Russia Blocks Yogurt for U.S. Olympians

Thousands of Chobani containers sit in New Jersey

Cobhani blueberry strawberry us athletes sochi ol

Yogurt is the latest source of conflict between the United States and Russia.

Five thousand containers of Greek-style Chobani yogurt bound for the U.S. Olympic team in Sochi, Russia, are reportedly sitting in logistical limbo near Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.

The Russian government is blocking the shipment, citing lack of proper paperwork. U.S. officials claim the certification Russia is requiring is unreasonable. Since 2010, the two countries have been unable to reach an agreement on the health certification of American dairy exports.

“I’d like to think that yogurt could have diplomatic immunity,” Peter McGuinness, Chobani’s chief marketing and brand officer, told the New York Times. “Unfortunately, no good deed goes unpunished.”

Chobani is a sponsor of the U.S. Olympic team. The New York–based company stocks its yogurt in Olympic training centers across the United States and attempted to send its product to Americans competing abroad at the Winter Olympics.

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer called on Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak to let the yogurt through. “Chobani yogurt is safe, nutritious, and delicious,” Schumer said in a statement. “And the Russian authorities should get past ‘nyet.'”

From Outside Magazine, April/May 2021
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Lead Photo: Courtesy of Chobani