Gay Rights and the Sochi Olympics

Article Written By: Damaris Zatarain

winterolympics2014sochi-lrg

Begins: Friday, February 7th

Ends: Sunday. February 23rd

The 2014 Winter Olympics are here, and the issue on gay rights remains stagnant. Many countries, as well as people on social media, have spoken out their opinions both for and against Russia’s Anti-Gay law, while the Russian government stands their ground. People from all around the world are going to be in Sochi. Families, young people, both gay and straight. Right when everyone thought that the world was becoming more progressive and gay-friendly, the country holding the Olympics makes a law that infringes on a human’s right to be who they are.

What does this mean for both the visitors and the athletes?

The athletes have a choice of rebelling against the politics and openly supporting gay rights. Of course that means they will get their medals taken away. But they don’t have to. They can choose to focus on their game and ignore the politics. These athletes who are competing spend their whole lives training for this event, whether or not they want to support is their choice. Competing is what they are there for, right?

The government had already announced that it is alright for gay people to go, but they cannot make their sexual orientation public. So that means no kissing or holding hands for anyone, not for the public, not for the athletes.

The Russian government can say whatever they want, no country can keep people from being who they really are. Especially when it comes to millions of foreigners (many of whom may be gay) congregating to watch sports in that country.

The problem is, if this goes on, the 2014 Winter Olympics will turn the spotlight away from the athletes and towards petty politics.

Is this what the Russian government wanted to happen?

Why can’t people just forget about hot-button issues for a minute to drink a beer and watch others get insulted the right way, by good ol’ fashioned sports?

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