In 1936 Nazi Germany used the Olympic Games as a platform. They fostered the games in the attempt to portray the National Socialist Party as a peace-loving & benevolent party, when in reality it was used to display Aryan superiority.
This year doesn’t seem much different with Sochi.
The decision to keep the games in Russia in the face of the glaring treatment of LGBTQ community members and allies is looking more and more like an embarrassment to the IOC.
With propaganda and the acceptance of neighbourhood watch & report, it doesn’t seem that much different from Nazi Germany at all.
What is more disappointing is the number of countries which have decided to not boycott the Games this year. That number would be…100%.
Boycotting the games for the matter of political agenda isn’t unheard of.
In 1956 three countries (the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland) were not in attendance in protest of the Hungarian uprising in the (then) Soviet Union.
In 1972 and 1976 a number of African countries threatened boycott to try and force the IOC to ban segregationist South Africa and Rhodesia. New Zealand was also included in the ban request due to the national rugby team’s tour of arphied-ruled South Africa.
After the IOC refused to ban New Zealand based on the fact that rugby was not an Olympic sport, it did concede on banning the other two countries. During the 1976 Montreal games, twenty African countries, joined by Guyana and Iraq, fulfilled their threat and withdrew from the games, even after a few countries had participated.
Cold war opponants vollied back and forth boycotting games in 1980 and 1984, starting with 65 different nations boycotting the 1980 Moscow games because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In 1984, the Soviet Union and 15 other countries then boycotted the Los Angeles stating that they could not guarantee the safety of their athletes. (we’ll get back to that)
In 2012 IOC Women and Sports Commission chair, Anita DeFrantz, suggested the banning of countries who prohibited female athletes to compete. This drove countries to allow women to compete and made London’s 2012 Summer games the first in which every country had at least one female athlete competing.
With all of this and more, countries are still competing in an Olympics where a group of peoples are being openly discriminated against, harassed, threatened and met with daily violence. Countries which have passed equal marriage laws.
I understand that with games being once every 4 years it may be the only time athletes get to compete but at the same time, we have to ask ourselves “at what cost”.
As we approach the Opening Ceramonies, we are discovering how unprepared Russia is to host the games.
We are learning about the slaughter of thousands of stray dogs.
Media are being met with unprepared and ill equipped hotel accommodations.
More and more we’re learning about the grotesque acts of violence committed upon the LGBTQ community.
Here we see a video of a group called “Occupy Pedophilia” and just some of their heinous crimes.
More and more we are seeing the poor and embarrassing choice made by the IOC not to pull out when there was still a chance.
With at least 6 openly gay athletes participating in the Olympics, we can not be guaranteed the safety of our athletes. This was the exact reasoning given by this very country in 1984.
If countries have boycotted and pulled out of the Olympics for other reasons, reasons that were just as valid then as this is today, then why aren’t they stretching that ability now? Why is nobody formally standing up and telling the IOC & Russia that this kind of treatment of a group of society isn’t ok and won’t be tolerated.
I can’t speak for other countries but as a Canadian, living in a country where equal marriage has been legal for quite some time, I am greatly disappointing in our decision to stay in the games.
We have stood up and said that love & marriage is a basic human right for all people but does that only extend till ratings and mitten sales are involved?