Moscow Trip for Obama May Be Off as Snowden Tensions Build
By Peter Baker
Published: July 18, 2013
WASHINGTON — President Obama may cancel a scheduled trip to Moscow to meet with President Vladimir V. Putin in September as the standoff over the fate of Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor seeking asylum there, takes its toll on already strained relations between the United States and Russia, officials said Thursday.
I have not read this entire thread - mostly because it makes me so irritated. IF the US boycotted Sochi because of a political point they're trying to make I think it would be a travesty. Let the politicians the countrie's leaders work it out and not impact people who have worked and worked at no small cost - physically or financially - for years to make it to Sochi. I don't believe in boycotts anyway - because they always impact the innocent people and very rarely achieve their goal other than to royally piss everyone off.
Just my opinion.
In 1980, there might have been a reason to boycott the Olympics because of some thought that the boycott would have an effect. (Though I was against the boycott and have always felt bad for the athletes who lost their chances to compete.) But after we saw how ineffectual that boycott was, we can no longer realistically consider an Olympic boycott as a possible action to take. In fact, from the intervening years, it's been made clear that keeping channels open in international events in areas such as sports, music, and science is one of the best ways to improve relations among countries. It's no coincidence that many of the earliest meetings of the U.S. and China happened through sports (ping-pong first) and music (Isaac Stern and I think the Boston Symphony, or was it the New York Philharmonic?). I'm sure that the Soviet skaters at the Calgary Olympics, especially the charming Gordeyeva and Grinkov, helped narrow the chasm between Us and Them (whichever side you consider to be Us).
In any case, I hope this move goes nowhere. Not only will the athletes be hurt by it, but America will look like a bunch of sore losers. This time around, no other countries are going to join in solidarity with us and boycott arm in arm with us. We'll be twisting in the wind alone.
Maybe it's a good idea if USA withdraws. Less competitors mean and more medals for others.
^ I don't think so. Why would the UK and Canada want to look like fools just because the United States did?
By the way, in the 1980 boycott the United Kingdom decided to leave it up to the national federation of each sport separately, or to the conscience of the individual athlete, whether or not to participate in the Games.
U.S. President Jimmy Carter sent famous boxer Muhammed Ali to Africa to try to get some African countries on board, but none was persuaded. Maybe this year we can send renowned figure skater and state department good will ambassador Michelle Kwan to Asia for the same purpose. Maybe she can talk her good friend Yuna Kim into withdrawing.
By the way, China joined in the 1980 boycott against Russia but not the Soviet-led 1984 boycott of the Los Angeles games.
Why are we even talking about this as if this was a serious possibility? Because as of now, even the US does not seem to want any kind of boycott, apart from that one senator.