I like to avoid getting in deep political discussions due to my history as an international relations and political anthropology majors, and the fact that this means I have studied a lot of these so I can go on and on about these topics. But I did want to add that there is an IMMENSE amount of academic literature that confirms the Olympic Games as anything BUT apolitical. The Olympics is a stage for many to act out very political actions and create narratives through presentation and marketing that can have great implications. For example, I just finished a 15-pager on how Turkey's bid for the 2020 Olympics was so immensely political for many reasons.
In general, I don't think it is anything to joke about and think it is very possible that states will make very specific statements during the Olympics and am eager to see how it turns out. It may be selfish but is done by everyone and is reality.
I really feel for the Russian athletes with all the talk about countries pulling out, or individual athletes pulling out. The Olympics are what you work for four years (or more) and it's the biggest moment. You want ALL of the best competition to be there.
Reminds me of the feelings of team USA in 1980 wanting to host all of the countries for the Winter Games and Russia was threatening to boycott...
granted we ended up doing it later and Carter would deny that he ever heard from the Athletes (both Winter and Summer) pleas to not boycott the summer games...
I just feel for all of the athletes Russian and International who are basically pawns in this whole mess.
Secondly, this thread is about politics and figure skating. I'm staying on topic, and I don't see why I shouldn't come here. It's you who doesn't seem to like this conversation, maybe you should go somewhere else.
Thirdly, and most importantly, I suspect it's very easy if you're not gay (or close to a gay person) to just write this off as "politics" when it should be all about the sport. But if you are gay, how do you think this attitude comes across? Gay fans have been loyal fans of skating but have been constantly taken for granted, ignored and insulted by various figures in skating over the years, from prominent organizers, commentators and skaters to even people on this board (though never directly of course, they know not to bite the hand that feeds them). You might all think it's fine just to ignore what's going on for gay people in Russia (and elsewhere, sure, but elsewhere isn't hosting the Olympics and pretending it's somehow part of the democratic world), so you can just sit back and enjoy your skating. That's fine, I understand that, and I don't blame you for it. But it's hardly heroic. I would have REALLY MAJOR respect for anyone who puts others before their own interest and calls out the bs on gays in Russia (like Diva Wagner did ) or even goes as far as boycotting (like Germany almost certainly won't, as we now know). Indeed, I totally disagree with others here who say the Russians wouldn't care. Germany is a major winter sports nation and their absence would absolutely be felt. The games would go on, sure, but the sheen would be taken off a bit.
In terms of V/T specifically, I thought I made it clear I don't wish them to skate badly. I certainly won't root for them to fall. I just want other teams to skate better, because of my own personal preferences for nations that are more inclusive and respectful to LGBT people. I don't see how this is different to any other preference a person may have for skaters based on their own home country, or their performance style, or even who's the cutest/sexiest/nicest.
Finally, thank you to the other posters who defended me against this post, I do appreciate it!
The athletes attending the Olympics doesn't mean that what's going on for gays in Russia is being ignored. But don't you understand? NOBODY WINS IF THERE IS A BOYCOTT. For starters, boycotts don't work. They never have. Ever. The only people they hurt are the athletes. They have no effect whatsoever.
Second, and this is a very real possibility that I have read of, is that do you not think the government/anti-gay people could use any boycott as a way to ramp up the persecution? If Putin says to the Russian public, "The gays ruined our golden Olympics", do you think that will have a positive or negative effect?
And last, every statement I have ever seen from the gay rights groups in Russia states very clearly that they DO NOT WANT A BOYCOTT. They want the Olympics to come to town so they can draw attention to what's going on. The Olympics is the biggest media draw in the world. They will have a captive audience. Heck, the NBC is sending a specialist reporter to Sochi JUST TO COVER THE ANTI-GAY LAWS. They are not going to have their sports hacks talking about it, they are sending a specialist political journalist to cover it. I don't think that's ever happened at any Olympics ever!
The Olympics went ahead in Berlin. The Olympics went ahead in China. There is no valid reason why they should NOT go ahead in Sochi.
A boycott that prevents athletes from competing in an event - that they may have trained their whole lives for - is a violation too. And two "wrongs" don't make a "right".
Use politics to achieve political ends, not sport.
I don't wish ill will to any athlete, but I understand your opinion that the Russian athletes do not do well. It's a karmic feeling, instead of Russia being glorified with gold medals. I would like to see S/S win.
we should refrain from politics and focus in figure skating .
wishful karma for self gain ?. political trollism should not be allowed here
lol at associating athletes as sharing the views of a whole nations stance
and rooting for the sake of a shallow cause
good luck to your cause of having Germany pull out
sounds like a lost cause
In that case I wish for every Russian athlete to podium and win
as said as political justice for the wishful ill fated Karma to happen
ps: pls register for skaters and skating not for posting politics
Good for Germany's prime minister! Clearly he did not suggest a German boycott. The thread title is misleading. He is simply showing he disagrees with what is going on in Russia and that it makes him not want to go. Some invited political leaders feel obliged to show up at the Olympics so it's a big deal when they don't show up, and many prominent celebrities have also said they will not show up because of the LGBT atrocities. They would rather not go to an illustrious event such as the Olympics rather than show face at an event they do not support.
As much as bigots want to label these efforts as "lost causes", it's clearly drawing more media attention to this important issue. Russia/Putin are simply delusional if they think that there will be no talk of this issue during the Olympics and that they can just play dumb and sweep it under the rug for 2 weeks.
Some athletes have trained their whole lives to compete, and have a life-awaited competition or medal on the line, but what happens if an athlete who isn't slated to win steps up, or after the competition when a medalist or non-medalist has competed and then there's the aftermath of the competition/interviews? If Ashley wins bronze and dedicates it to all LGBT people, including Russisans, and says they are beautiful, wonderful people deserving of respect and equal treatment in Russia and every other country, what exactly are they going to do to her? Strip her of her bronze? Throw her in jail? Lower her PCS when she skates in Russia (moreso than they already do to non-Russians)?
I also don't know what you mean by "self-gain". I have nothing to gain from anyone pulling out of the Olympics. I am just a fan. I have my opinions like anyone else, but my investment here doesn't go beyond the emotional. I think the decision to not attend the Olympics should be made individually by athletes and delegates. If athletes choose not to attend, I find that heroic and selfless. They have been training for this, I know (and everyone keeps pointing out, over and over again), for a long time, so I understand (and don't blame them) if they do attend. But to put that behind a belief in a greater ideal of what is right and moral is really amazing. No one has done this yet, I know, and perhaps no one will, but I would still be impressed if anyone did. I was even impressed by Diva Wagner speaking out, when other skaters have not, because like I said, gay fans of this sport don't get their love and dedication returned all that often from the sport (love Diva Wagner, and hope she skate amazing in Sochi!)
I also really think you need to look up what trolling really means (I'm guessing English isn't your first language, which is fine, maybe you are confused by this term). Trolling is not expressing unpopular opinions. It is firing out insults and racist/sexist/homophobic or inflammatory language for the purpose of aggravating others. I'm not doing that. I'm trying to give my opinion about what I would feel if Germany or anyone else decided to boycott the games, in as measured and careful a way as possible. Last time I checked, it wasn't a crime to have opinions different to yours (again, unless you actually are Putin. Then I'm in trouble, I suppose ).
diverse opinions are allowed
but wishful failure of athletes from a country is deplorable
and wishing skaters to fail from a country because for a vengeance from ones own individual political view is
again this is for figure skating thread not for political tollism
PS did I read on another forum you gloating about the injuries of Canadian skater Kaetlyn Osmond? ...hypocrite...
From Los Angeles Times:
IOC officials to ask athletes not to protest Russia's anti-gay law
"I know from my own experience, this is key," IOC President Thomas Bach, a former Olympic fencer, told the Associated Press. "As an athlete you do not want to be confronted in the Olympic Village or the Olympic Stadium with any kind of political controversies."
Tatiana is a very friendly person, to wish her bad luck is really not nice and the same applies for every other Russian Athlete. I am looking forward to a fair pair skate competition, no matter if V/T or S/S wins - it will be well deserved and the loan for a decade of hard work.
That said, don't write the Chinese off!
Personally there is a lot I don't agree with in this world, but I would never ever put the blame on someone in this forum, or outside of it - just because he or she represents that state so to speak.