Wondering what all the fuss is about the Winter Olympics in Russia and why there’s been talk of boycotts, arrests and human rights?
Here at Snow It All HQ we’ve gathered some reading to help you get your head around the trending topic of Putin, the Sochi Winter Olympics and ‘a raft of new national laws’ in Russia that in the words of Darren Kane from The Sydney Morning Herald have established ‘unfettered powers for police to arrest and detain tourists and foreign nationals suspected of being homosexual or ”pro-gay”.
Kane writes in an article published on August 17 that “The Russian government has in recent weeks most helpfully clarified that it will apply these new regulations during the 2014 Winter Olympics, and hence will not hesitate to arrest anybody suspected of violating the laws.”
Russia’s anti gay laws made the New York Times front page revealing that news articles about homosexuality and gay rights in Russia now come with a disclaimer: “This article contains information not suitable for readers younger than 18 years of age, according to Russian legislation.” Kids leave the room now please.
TIME’s Sean Gregory posted a piece on why America’s Olympic broadcaster NBC Can’t Ignore Russia’s Anti-Gay Laws and NBC also released a memo to gay and lesbian staff assuring them they will do everything they can to keep them safe at the Winter Olympics as reported in this piece by ESPN on why Barack Obama says boycotting the Games would not be fair to the athletes. It wouldn’t.
British thespian, Stephen Fry, disagrees but then he’s not competing.
The Guardian debates why the IOC say they can’t enter into this political debate despite banning South Africa during apartheid.
And the New York Times debates it all again.
Openly gay athletes ice skater Johnny Weir and speed skater Blake Skelljerup both intend to compete at the games and say it is better to protest there potentially from behind bars than boycott and protest at home as explained n this piece from The Atlantic.