The message from Russia is clear. “Talk sport, not politics”. The Olympics are governed by their own charter, which forbids discrimination of any type. The Olympic Charter states; “The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.”
When a country hosts such a famous sporting event, the eyes of the world are upon it. It is important to remember that homosexuality is not illegal in Russia, as it is in some countries. The issues raised here create questions for future bids of countries trying to hold such events. Should the politics of a country be taken into consideration? Whilst not detracting any importance from these vast issues, I think we lead into dangerous territory of comparing countries between each other and distancing from a country’s suitability to facilitate large sporting events.
Russia clearly wants the attention to be on the sport. Who wins what medals, the trials and tribulations of each event. As a country who have recently held the Olympics, it is an experience which Britain will remember, which gave so many opportunities from sporting ones to volunteering ones to Olympic torch-bearing opportunities. To host the Olympics gives the whole country a feel good factor. Should the opportunity be removed from the entire population?