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The Dilemma of Sochi

A friend on Facebook posts an interesting question/quandary* about what they feel regarding the Sochi Olympics:

With a month to ‪#‎Sochi‬ I feel very torn about it. I love the spirit of the Olympics (despite the IOC) and athletes give up a childhood to participate for the love of sport. Then there’s Russia and people being forced to give up who they are.

If the US hadn’t boycotted a political system in 1980 I wonder if more would be done now.

I can’t say I don’t feel the same way. Personally, I stated awhile ago that I leaned towards boycott. Now I’m just in the same limbo-land. The opening ceremonies will be the most interesting part of these whole Games, I think.. to see if any of the athletes make a defying statement.

*(Statement used with permission. Thanks to my friend for allowing me to use it in this blogpost)

5 comments to The Dilemma of Sochi

  • billg

    How exactly would a boycott of the Sochi games help anyone? If the games were never held in Russia how many people would even know about the anti gay laws and the attitudes of many politicians and its citizens. You want to get people out from under a rock then pick the rock up and shine a light under it, you dont walk by it. Jesse Owens stood and defied the German people and Adolf Hitler in 1936, when, the same boycott arguement took place from many US politicians, FDR refused that arguement and thank God he did.

  • The irony of course is that the Olympics is a great showcase for the gay and lesbian community. Not all men in figure skating are gay, but come on. If a gay man artistically skating isn’t “gay propaganda”, I don’t know what is. I don’t know the proportion of the women that are lesbian in the Olympics, but I’m going to guess that the biathlon (cross country skiing and shooting) includes a couple.

    Gay rights have evolved considerably in Canada. I’m old enough to remember when gay bashing was a thing. When people were being murdered on the streets of Ottawa and Montreal because they were suspected of being gay. And I’m not that old!

    Russia will come around. In the mean time, anal sex for under 18s is still prohibited in Canada’s criminal code. Not all male gays practice anal sex, but I’m sure a higher proportion of them do than their heterosexual compatriots.

  • Well, I don’t exactly have a problem with boycotting the Olympics. But then I have to ask, can anyone propose any Olympics that should NOT be boycotted? Every country likely to host has policies easily as repugnant as those being protested in a Russia boycott. For instance, a Canada Olympics should be boycotted over the horrible treatment we continue to mete out to First Nations, and probably our heinous environmental policies. The US–let’s not even go there. The possibilities, nay responsibilities, are endless. Of course it’s beyond shameful we didn’t boycott China’s olympics. Australia is perpetrating policies on its First Nations even more vicious and criminal than our own, and puts refugees in literal concentration camps. And I’m sure we could point to some pretty nasty stuff going down in, or being done by, England, France, Greece, wherever.
    So if a boycott of the Olympics is appropriate for repgunant policies at the level of the Russian ones in question, really I think we have to face the idea that the Olympics has to end period. Now I’m fine with that, I think it’s become a horrible parasitic spectacle ripping off host countries’ taxpayers to the tune of billions with the poor athletes as an afterthought and the spirit of amateurism long shuffled off to its next life. But are most of those pro-boycott just as fine with that or are they operating double standards?

  • monkey

    I oppose a boycott as its unfair to the athletes who have trained for this opportunity and may not get another chance. I’ve always said make sure the person who caused the problem gets hurt, not someone who had nothing to do with it. What baffles me though is why they chose Sochi. Its only around 100km from Chechnya and considering how unstable that area is, it seems like to big a risk.

    On the anti-gay law in Russia, it is despicable and horrible, but I almost wonder if I would have received less attention had it not been for the Olympics. Maybe by having the Olympics there, it will draw attention to it and put pressure to change. It won’t happen overnight, but at least it makes people aware of it which is the important first step. As awful as the Russian anti-gay law is, people forget that there are many countries around the world that have even more oppressive anti-gay laws. 70 countries still make homosexuality illegal and 7 even have the death penalty for it. Qatar which is hosting the world cup in 2022 has an even more repressive one for starters so hopefully this will get more people to pay attention to how bad homophobia is in many parts of the world and while the LGBT community may have won many rights in the West, there are still many who suffer greatly in other parts of the world.

  • SD

    The athletes have worked hard to get where they are. However, by participating in Sochi, they are participating off the misery of others. They are participating off the misery of gay people in Russia. The Olympic sponsors are earning their income off the misery of gays in Russia. The athletes depend on the Olympic resourses of the sponsors who earn their income off the misery of gays in Russia. Indirectly, the athletes are contributing to the misery of gays in Russia. I won’t help contribte to the.misery of gay people of Russia by watching the Olympic games or by supporting the sponsors.

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