Over the last two winder Olympics I must admit to becoming hooked! For me the winter Olympics has so many more sports that I enjoy V the Summer Olympics, I particularly love snow cross and all the snowboarding events and I secretly love all the figure skating!
So I have been very much looking forward to the opening of the 2014 games but as the time draws near and more and more news flows from Russia, I have found my heart growing a bit heavy. I am not a political person and do not think I ever really invest enough time getting all the facts on any situation to have a real opinion but all the anti gay stuff that has so publicly happened on the run up to the games just feels so wrong.
These will not be the games remembered for the amazing sporting achievements of the athletes but the games that happened at the same time Russian government and policy makers put in place new anti gay laws. So by watching them am I in part supporting these anti gay messages? Should the world say no Russian government we think this is a HUGE step backwards we don't want to play with people acting like that or should we all go along with it because we know we will have a nice time? I was very proud when we had a Russian government visit to Amsterdam, there were no big speeches, we just took down all the flags and replaced them with the bright rainbow flags of gay pride!
So I don't think I will watch this year, I will wait another four. I am curious to see what everyone else thinks. I don't think me not watching will really affect anything but maybe if viewing figures are a little lower than normal, someone somewhere will know the reason why.
I hardly ever watch the Olympics, except the opening and closing ceremonies. Figure skating can be quite nice (the summer variant is gymanastics I think?) to look at though.
It's somewhat amusing to see all the uproar shortly before the start of the games. As if this wasn't known when Sochi was selected to host the games. Same with China with the previous games btw. If you want to have the games in a western-society approved environment, well.. host it in Western Europe, Australia/NZ or the US It's not like the games (or a football worldcup tournament) will change a country long term. Speaking of football, Qatar also has quite different views compared to ours, just saying...
Could be fun if an openly gay athlete wins a couple of events, heh (yes something like that happened before, look up your history ;-)
You can just record (vcr/dvr) the events you want to see and watch them at a different time, skipping the commercials of course. That way you get see what you want without giving the organization back anything. Besides, all the athletes there are working hard, they deserve some people looking at the actual sportive achievements. That does tend to get buried under all this upset.
You can't possibly be referring to the games of 1936, eh Frans? lol
I can totally see all your points. On the one side we have this special sporting event every four years for athletes from all corners of the world. On the other is the big business for the IOC's, FIFA's or UEFA's, their sponsors and of course the political prestige for the hosting city/countries government. Sadly you can't have one without the other and I'm also torn how much credence my watching could provide. We are experiencing to which countries these last big sporting events went, independently how much "funds" the decision received for their "decision".
I'm living right next to the Olympic Park here and thoroughly enjoy it for outdoor activities. Though this after-use of an Olympic Area is the exception. A few years ago somebody posted pictures, which showed the rotten and forgotten building in Athens and elsewhere. Since I'm a fan of sustainability, these big investments in venues and infrastructure is a big waste, if they aren't used afterward. And Sotchi is a prime example for really nobody being there later, even though some structures are planned to be built back after the Games.
Last year we had a referendum if Munich should contest for Wintergames in 2022, and in every municipal about 60 % voted against it, including my vote. Some of it had to do with the shady contracts demanded by the IOC, but also a warning that we were unhappy how things went in Russia. I like sport events a lot, but what I've witnessed in the last few years really made me skeptic about them. Their main focus aren't nowadays about top-class performances from the athletes or the Olympic Spirit with its tolerance, fair play, etc. We don't have to add the dispossession of lands and ecology issues, and of course the political dimension. Putin likes sports a lot, has much power, so he wanted theses Games in Russia and he got them. I guess he needs them to "unite" his people and to distract from the important issues in his country.
The athletes are in a catch-22. On the one hand their focus should lie sorely on the competition itself. On the other hand they of course shouldn't be forbidden about voicing their opinion. This reminds me of an interview with Swiss racer Lara Gut a few days ago. Sadly only snippets I found in English for you.
Like you said, I don't think your viewing habit shows that you legitimize the policy of the Russian government. Unless you drive there and wave Putin or anti-gay flags. As controversial as it could be, I guess only if an Gold winning athlete (best from Russian nationality) makes a direct statement.
For me, I guess I will pick a few competitions to watch live, but not as many as in previous games.
Last edited by dropshop; 29th January 2014 at 03:51 PM.
I wouldn't let politics get in the way of enjoying the olympics, as a canadian I have many people to root for, we have a great shot in a few skiing events, a good hockey team if you do decide to watch figure skating look out for a young canadian lady that will be hard to beat, and an other one that only just turned 16, put in an amazing performance at nationals to get the chance to go represent her country, also we are sending two great pairs skating teams
anyways, I think all the attention on what is happening in russia will do help let everyone know how bad the stuation is there with all the anti gay policies so having the olmpics there might be a blessing to the cause to turn things around and get support for the ones affected by this