Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by Sugar, Feb 7, 2013.
Are internal groups not energized or validated by external support? I get literature from anti-death penalty groups, for example, that lists various international condemnation of US death penalty statutes and practices among its arguments for support, moral and financial.
It may be true that the dictatorship countries have kept things in control. However, we can't rule out trouble in the Olympic village, remember Munich in '72 and Atlanta in '96.
Interesting that at one time Russia tried to squelch religion all together, now...
I would hope many would after the brutality shown in Russia recently.
And I agree that Olympic boycotts have never been shown to help. But, we have never seen a universal boycott of an Olympic Games. One country boycotting will not effect their pocketbooks, but 30 countries boycotting would.
And have we had any Russian LGBT group stating that a Sochi boycott would help them?
This is the argument my own organization uses in opposing boycotts of Israel -- not that it is in itself an evil strategy, it's quite legitimate, but that in a quasi-democratic country the change has to come from within. But if you're a Palestinian who's been living under occupation for 46 years, I forgive you for not accepting the argument.
Look, if the Russian LGBT groups freely, without fear or intimidation, oppose a boycott then those voices should be heeded. But then Russia should pay a HUGE price in PR and goodwill from the minute the games start until the flame goes out. Every Potemkin village Putin builds should be set on fire, metaphorically speaking. Tell visitors, both athletes and fans, to bring flip cameras as well as their phones and post any intimidation they see. Expose, expose, expose and don't shut up.
I wouldn't expect Olympic Committees from European countries to encourage their athletes to boycott the Games. Europe is heavily dependent on the Russian oil and gas supplies and they might not want to cross Mr. Putin.
I agree with you but, even as a gay male, I cannot imagine any country boycotting over gay rights. As much as we have progressed recently, I don't think we're there yet. Sad to say, but it may take 10-20 years, at least.
I suppose I see this as more than Gay rights. I see this as human rights. The right of a human being to choose who they love, regardless of sex. To brutalize a person for that is unspeakable, whether or not you agree with their choice. I believe in Gay rights, fully. But, even if I didn't, I would still stand against the penalties Russia has mandated. I will never understand why people are so intolerant. You don't have to agree with a lifestyle to stand up for another's right to live it.
I haven't read this entire thread, just parts of it - and one question keeps coming to mind. Does the IOC not have protocols in place to protect its athletes and ensure that they have the same human rights (dignity of personhood, right to sexual orientation and religious freedom) in the host country that they have at home. The IOC does have an obligation to its athletes, or most certainly should. If a gay/lesbian/trans athlete is harmed due to their sexual orientation in Sochi, I would think the IOC would be implication.
It's one thing to object to a country hosting the Olympics because of domestic human rights violations, but from the POV of the IOC, more serious when the rights of athletes are threatened.
I think if the IOC ever seriously thought there was a good chance something might happen to the athletes somewhere, they'd probably break out the heavy-arm tactics. I don't know if they have any protocols in place, but when Russia's effectively violating Olympic principles threatening gay athletes, I'm sure they can call them on that or at least threaten to.
In this case, though, I think they've figured Putin simply will not allow the kind of backlash that would come from going after one of the athletes.
Which is a pity, because I think the only thing that would really work is if they figured out a way to declare Russia had forfeited the right to host and then to move the games(the former should now be easy if they ever really want to do it, but the latter of course...). Way too many of these Russian politicians would probably love if the US didn't come; more medals for their athletes. Putin would know better, but I can't help but think he's smart enough to ultimately turn a boycott to his own advantage.
I wouldn't be surprised if the IOC tells all the athletes and coaches they are only allowed to leave the Olympic Village for events and training and only by official IOC vehicles. Anyone who breaks that rule will do so at their own risk.
I've been struggling with this myself as my first reaction is aaack don't mess with the Olympics! I want to be able to just enjoy them and I want all the athletes to be able to compete without distraction.
But that ship has sailed.
I'm creeped out by all the comments in this thread about how the rest of the world can do nothing about what happens internally in another country. I want the Olympics to go ahead without distraction from this situation, but I'm not going to tell anyone the best they can do is turn a blind eye to what is going on in other countries just so my enjoyment won't be spoiled.
I don't know what effective actions can be taken outside of Russia against the anti-gay laws and the social atmosphere that is hostile to gays. But I can't accept that silence is the answer.
(And 1) I think the comparisons with Nazi Germany as always are unhelpful, at best. 2) I wish there were international movements against unjust U.S. laws to put pressure on us! This isn't an either/or situation!)
If US chose not to go to Sochi on grounds of human rights violation by Russia, I suspect Canada would do the same? Most likely yes. And I have to wonder how other countries that are strongly committed to protecting minority rights could justify their decision to not boycott the Olympics. I'm thinking of Belgium, France, UK, Spain, Netherlands, Denmark or Sweden - just to name a few - where even same-sex marriage is legal.
EDIT: Opinion by longtime gay rights activist...
Should The United States Boycott The Sochi Olympics?
Aug 5 2013
How surprised would we all be if the athletes got to Sochi, and concentrated on their athletic performance, rather than whether they could kiss in public?
Or they could focus on their performance and then kiss if it goes well. And of course, being an athlete does not mean you have no other interests and concerns.
From the stories told about what goes on in the Olympic village, I doubt that every Olympian focuses exclusively on their performance in competition.
Well considering the amount of fluff pieces that the big-named athletes have detailing their real life training that tends to always give some information about their personal life, and the way cameras will close in on the significant others of an athlete, if they have one, it's not as if showing some part of an athlete's romantic life (if he or she decides to share that) is a novel approach to humanize them to television audiences. People just don't usually think about it because we tend to take heterosexual displays of affection (minor ones at least) for granted and it's become such a normal part of one's "package."
And as Zemgirl said, it's not as if the event is the only thing on many athlete's mind. They go for the whole experience and festivities as well.
Kids will be kids.
I, for one, would be shocked if either of these things happened as either of you describe, though, yes, I expect athletes will concentrate more on competing than demonstrating.
The Olympic Games are not just an occasion for athletes to live up to the Olympic motto, Citius, Altius, Fortius, but also to promote understanding and fellowship among the people of all nations. Getting out of the Olympic Village and meeting local residents and people who have come to Sochi from other parts of Russia and from other countries is very much part of the Olympic experience. To suppose that a competitor in one of the earlier events, such as Men's Singles Luge or *ahem* the Figure Skating Team Competition should sit around the Olympic Village for a week and a half after his event concludes is not only unrealistic, it is contrary to everything for which the Olympics stand.
Why would anyone be surprised if a competitive athlete were to focus on...athletics??
When has an athlete ever placed who they could kiss over their athletic performance??
What a bold prediction....
I had a dream last night that giraffeKulik, cookie monster, and myself hung 100 pride flags around the arena before the men's freeskate. Then Lenin zombies came out of the ice and shot us.
Vancouver 2014? Petition wants to move Sochi Olympics to Canada
That won't solve a whole lot -- and I doubt the people of Vancouver really want that all again so soon!
Plus which, some of the facilities might not be available. E.g. the speed skating oval in Richmond no longer has the equipment/facilities for long-track speed skating IIRC.
It's become a community recreation center:
I don't know if the two Olympic-sized rinks are permanent. Same for the ice rink at the former Curling venue, the Hillcrest Centre:
not to mention that it's also got an aquatics center:
(ETA: I bet the food at the Blue Parrot Cafe is better than the food they offered at the Olympics.)
If a substitute Olympics were going to be held in Canada, I'm sure the speed skaters would prefer Calgary. Their times were in the toilet at the crunch, sea-level ice in Richmond.
That is sick. What has happened to Russia that they are allowing their human rights policies to revert so badly?
I think something like this might be a good way to go, though its up to the athletes.
Striking Olympic Gold--Frank Bruni (New York Times)