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Sochi Winter Olympics


stumobir

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With the Sochi Winter Olympics kicking off this Friday you'd be expecting a bit of a buzz to be going about the media by now but so far it's been all gay-bashing and boycotts (and rightly so). No Obama, Merkel or Cameron and several countries clearly, deliberately sending gay delegates as a big twos-up to Vlad and co, it has all turned in to massive embarrassment for the Russians when it should really be showcasing the best of their country. If you live under a rock and have somehow managed to miss the atrocities going on in Russia against their gay community, there was a pretty disturbing Dispatches programme on Channel 4 tonight called "Hunted", you can probably catch it on 4OD but I do warn you, it's hard to watch.

 

Are the boycotts by politicians justified or should we forgot about the politics and get behind "Team GB" anyway? Can you see the games going smoothly or is there bound to be some kind of massive demonstration orchestrated by either fans or participants?

 

 

Personally, I love the Winter Olympics and enjoy a lot of the events more than the Summer games but I'm beginning to doubt that I'll be able to take much from these games other than a real dislike for all things Russian.

 

Edit: Obviously feel free to discuss anything sports related too.

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With the Sochi Winter Olympics kicking off this Friday you'd be expecting a bit of a buzz to be going about the media by now but so far it's been all gay-bashing and boycotts (and rightly so). No Obama, Merkel or Cameron and several countries clearly, deliberately sending gay delegates as a big twos-up to Vlad and co, it has all turned in to massive embarrassment for the Russians when it should really be showcasing the best of their country. If you live under a rock and have somehow managed to miss the atrocities going on in Russia against their gay community, there was a pretty disturbing Dispatches programme on Channel 4 tonight called "Hunted", you can probably catch it on 4OD but I do warn you, it's hard to watch.

 

Are they boycotts by politicians justified or should we forgot about the politics and get behind "Team GB" anyway? Can you see the games going smoothly or is there bound to be some kind of massive demonstration orchestrated by either fans or participants?

 

 

Personally, I love the Winter Olympics and enjoy a lot of the events more than the Summer games but I'm beginning to doubt that I'll be able to take much from these games other than a real dislike for all things Russian.

 

Bollocks to them - my interest in winter sports is marginal at best, I'll only watch any of it if there is some pro-gay propaganda to challenge the Putinistas.

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Do the Winter Olympics ever have a buzz surrounding them?

 

That probably tells you how minimal my interest is in winter sports, and my interest in conflating sport with politics is even less. If I see something that strikes my fancy, I'll watch, just as I watched the Beijing Olympics, and I'll watch the Russian and Qatar World Cups (if the latter ever goes ahead). It'll probably just end up being the opening ceremony for me, and of course any chance I get at hearing the Russian anthem.

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I don't know if two man bobsleigh is gay propaganda, but two man luge certainly is.

 

The Winter Olympics provides an element in sport that us missing from the Summer Olympics, and that is: Will they crash? Watching Usain Bolt is all well and good but you know he is not going to fall over at top speed, keep sliding and wipeout half a dozen spectators. In the Downhill there is always that possibility.

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Did anyone see Scottish craft beer maker Brewdog launch a beer on Monday called "Hello My Name is Vladimir". It's got Vladimir Putins face on it it in a repeated pattern on a pink printed label with the small print on the bottle saying "not for gays". It's grabbed some news attention.

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I don't know if two man bobsleigh is gay propaganda, but two man luge certainly is.

So you watched The Last Leg last week then, as I was about to post the same thing. It's basically two guys spooning on a sledge doing 90mph in an ice labyrinth.

 

Before any Olympics there is always some political controversy or massive coverage on how the games won't be ready in time. Normally it is just media bullshit.

 

I accept Russia is stuck in the dark ages over gay rights. Not only that the country's record of racism and women's rights are atrocious as well. It's not much of an excuse but I think this is largely due to the Iron Curtain. Under the Soviet Union there was no social progress and acceptance of foreigners into the country. Modern day Russia is the equivalent of 1950's Britain where no one has seen a black person in the flesh, homosexuality is a disease and the women should be in the kitchen. I believe the Winter Olympics and The World Cup will help transform the country's viewpoint, but it will probably take two generations before you ser similar integration in this country.

 

Going on to the sport its self, I love the Winter Olympics, especially since the introduction of the X-games style events. I will be definitely watching the sliding events, Ice Hockey, Ski-Cross, Moguls and Ski Jump. I probably won't be watching much Curling however.

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I wonder if there will be the same support for boycotting when Russia host the World Cup?

 

Indeed. It strikes me that many people are quite happy to have an event boycotted that they mostly won't watch but when it's a sporting event they care about then they're not quite so vocal.

 

I don't support boycotting the Winter Olympics at all. I understand the calls for it but cancelling the event or boycotting it ultimately isolates those living in the area and country who actually have to live under these laws and regime and denies them a platform and opportunity to have their voices heard.

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The Winter Olympics provides an element in sport that us missing from the Summer Olympics, and that is: Will they crash? Watching Usain Bolt is all well and good but you know he is not going to fall over at top speed, keep sliding and wipeout half a dozen spectators. In the Downhill there is always that possibility.

 

Ha I'd be lying if I said this wasn't where I take half the enjoyment from although the BMXing and mountain biking did provide a good bit of that a in the summer two years ago, I saw some proper nasty bails.

 

I wonder if there will be the same support for boycotting when Russia host the World Cup?

 

I get your point and you're right, there probably won't be as much media attention on human rights violations, corruption etc but that's because the World Cup and Olympics are quite different. The ethos of the Olympics is supposed to be about world unity and promoting peace and integration through sports so it just seems a bit bizarre that it's held in a country that are so openly racist and homophobic. I don't think outright boycott is the right thing to do but I'll be surprised and disappointed if there isn't a good few podium demonstrations

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Hopefully it does but with a lot of Russian media state controlled or influenced I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of everyday citizens were oblivious to how much anger it's caused world wide. I can see the Olympics passing without any major upsets but when the World Cup comes round and presumably a lot of black travelling fans attending, I can't see it going so well.

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