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Author Topic: Sports: Winter Olympics 2014  (Read 4878 times)

veggiewolf

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Winter Olympics 2014
« on: January 21, 2014, 10:20:09 pm »
I'm a huge winter sports fan, and an Olympic games fan besides, but I'm torn about watching this year due to Russia's human rights problems.  I do not agree with their stance on homosexuality at all, and I'm in an argument with myself over what to do.

I mean, how can I not watch curling?!?

Anyone else have thoughts?
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Nyktipolos

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2014, 10:59:08 pm »
Quote from: veggiewolf;137300
I'm a huge winter sports fan, and an Olympic games fan besides, but I'm torn about watching this year due to Russia's human rights problems.  I do not agree with their stance on homosexuality at all, and I'm in an argument with myself over what to do.

I mean, how can I not watch curling?!?

Anyone else have thoughts?

 
I'm incredibly conflicted right now. As it stands I'm unlikely to purchase any merch (I didn't notice just until I was purchasing my sweater from 2010 that they couldn't even make it in Canada, and they were pretty much charging a made-in-Canada price for it) and I refuse to be ignorant to arrests (with this possibly being the first) or other negative things happening because of Russia intolerable policy towards LGBTQ* people.

To be honest, I'm pretty afraid for family members, fans, and possibly athletes who do not belong to "high profile" countries being arrested or harassed. There is pretty much nothing stopping anyone who is openly gay at the Olympics from being arrested, despite Putin claiming nothing would happen to them.

Another thing that's been ticking me off a bit is that people are being told not to talk about it because what does it matter, only the sports should matter. As if sports, and people, can grow inside a bubble. As if athletes, open or closeted, are supposed to feel safe going to a country where they could be arrested for simply being themselves? Yes, these things MATTER and they need to be discussed! We need to stop pretending that athletes do not have personal lives and feelings and the right to be safe.
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veggiewolf

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Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2014, 11:11:45 pm »
Quote from: Nyktipolos;137310
I'm incredibly conflicted right now. As it stands I'm unlikely to purchase any merch (I didn't notice just until I was purchasing my sweater from 2010 that they couldn't even make it in Canada, and they were pretty much charging a made-in-Canada price for it) and I refuse to be ignorant to arrests (with this possibly being the first) or other negative things happening because of Russia intolerable policy towards LGBTQ* people.

To be honest, I'm pretty afraid for family members, fans, and possibly athletes who do not belong to "high profile" countries being arrested or harassed. There is pretty much nothing stopping anyone who is openly gay at the Olympics from being arrested, despite Putin claiming nothing would happen to them.

Another thing that's been ticking me off a bit is that people are being told not to talk about it because what does it matter, only the sports should matter. As if sports, and people, can grow inside a bubble. As if athletes, open or closeted, are supposed to feel safe going to a country where they could be arrested for simply being themselves? Yes, these things MATTER and they need to be discussed! We need to stop pretending that athletes do not have personal lives and feelings and the right to be safe.

This is exactly what I'm talking about, Nykti.  To try and separate the sports from what is happening in Russia is to bury our heads in the sand.  So not a fan of intentional blinding.

I don't plan to buy merchandise either but I'm wondering too how to ensure the choice I make matters.
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Sage

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Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2014, 11:40:18 pm »
Quote from: veggiewolf;137313
This is exactly what I'm talking about, Nykti.  To try and separate the sports from what is happening in Russia is to bury our heads in the sand.  So not a fan of intentional blinding.

I don't plan to buy merchandise either but I'm wondering too how to ensure the choice I make matters.

Everything we do to combat injustice matters. Be vocal about your discomfort, make a point to educate about why the games are so troubling this year. Learn about the LGBTQ athletes and keep an eye on news developments. Write to your local paper, call your local news station. Become your own expert on Russia and gay rights.
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I shall embrace the light. I shall weather the storm.
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What you have created, no one can tear asunder.

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2014, 12:30:42 am »
Quote from: veggiewolf;137300
I'm a huge winter sports fan, and an Olympic games fan besides, but I'm torn about watching this year due to Russia's human rights problems.  I do not agree with their stance on homosexuality at all, and I'm in an argument with myself over what to do.

I mean, how can I not watch curling?!?

Anyone else have thoughts?

 
I'm kind of bitter about how US Figure Skating handled the women's team selection on top of being deeply conflicted about Russian politics. Of course, I only watch via antenna and pirated internet coverage anyway so it's not like they even get to count my viewership afaik.
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Sarah

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2014, 03:23:50 am »
Quote from: Jack;137323
I'm kind of bitter about how US Figure Skating handled the women's team selection on top of being deeply conflicted about Russian politics. Of course, I only watch via antenna and pirated internet coverage anyway so it's not like they even get to count my viewership afaik.

 
I agree with everyone that this is really conflicting, especialy as I adore watching figure skating. I think we just do what we can in regards to keeping people aware of any further human rights violations

The bbc advert makes my spine tingle though!

[video=youtube;4b9Ji7DvsjU]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4b9Ji7DvsjU[/video]
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Aranel

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Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2014, 05:11:45 am »
Quote from: veggiewolf;137300
I'm a huge winter sports fan, and an Olympic games fan besides, but I'm torn about watching this year due to Russia's human rights problems.  I do not agree with their stance on homosexuality at all, and I'm in an argument with myself over what to do.

I mean, how can I not watch curling?!?

Anyone else have thoughts?

 
I'm not watching it.

But then again I stopped watching any olympics in 2008. No idea where the last winter olympics were held because I lost all interest. (There was no way in hell I was watching any of the London olympics but that was mainly because by the time they came around I was sick and tired from the previous 4 years of advertising from the official sponsors)  

Anyway, I didn't watch the summer olympics in 2008 because of China's human rights issues, and I won't be watching Russia this year.
I also will not be watch the ones in Japan in 2020 (I think, I can't remember if it's summer or winter) because of the dolphins.
Me not watching won't change anything but I do not feel comfortable watching them.

Sage

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Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2014, 08:17:36 am »
Quote from: Jack;137323
I'm kind of bitter about how US Figure Skating handled the women's team selection on top of being deeply conflicted about Russian politics. Of course, I only watch via antenna and pirated internet coverage anyway so it's not like they even get to count my viewership afaik.

Figure skating is the best. I've been in love with the sport since *cough* watching Blades of Glory. It's ice dancing! With knives on your feet!!!!
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Hyacinth Belle

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2014, 03:55:38 pm »
Quote from: veggiewolf;137300
I'm a huge winter sports fan, and an Olympic games fan besides, but I'm torn about watching this year due to Russia's human rights problems.  I do not agree with their stance on homosexuality at all, and I'm in an argument with myself over what to do.

I mean, how can I not watch curling?!?

Anyone else have thoughts?

 
I'm surprised no one has mentioned the terrorist threats and security issues surrounding it as well. Absolutely insane, based on what I've heard on the news. And yeah, a snowboarder they interviewed is like, "I'm focused on my sport; I'm not worried about security at all" (in different words). Same kind of "head in the sand" action as the LGBT stuff.

I hadn't given it any thought as to whether I would watch or not. I watched parts of the London games, and I found the Beijing opening ceremonies somewhat freaky and unsettling.

I could take it or leave it, I suppose, but I can't believe it seems like everyone's pretending it's all peachy over there.
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Nyktipolos

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2014, 07:24:01 pm »
Quote from: Hyacinth Belle;137417
I'm surprised no one has mentioned the terrorist threats and security issues surrounding it as well. Absolutely insane, based on what I've heard on the news. And yeah, a snowboarder they interviewed is like, "I'm focused on my sport; I'm not worried about security at all" (in different words). Same kind of "head in the sand" action as the LGBT stuff.


I've actually heard like nothing about it until I went looking on Tumblr of all places. I'm not sure what to think about it or what to properly say, but it does seem terrifying and that's another layer of worry over the safety of athletes, their families, the teams, etc., as well as the people living locally.

FWIW, I'm seeing similar comments from several athletes, especially those in the hockey world. Obviously I don't *really* know what they're thinking, but a lot of what I've seen seems to be said more in the vein that they really don't want to talk about it or can't (especially Russian players in the NHL who've been asked) because there may be negative repercussions when they play in Sochi, or with the league, or with their home countries, etc.
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Nyktipolos

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2014, 07:30:58 pm »
Quote from: veggiewolf;137313
This is exactly what I'm talking about, Nykti.  To try and separate the sports from what is happening in Russia is to bury our heads in the sand.  So not a fan of intentional blinding.

I don't plan to buy merchandise either but I'm wondering too how to ensure the choice I make matters.

 
I feel like being smart about who you choose to support is a good one. There are a couple of groups right now (they may have stopped by now but I'm unsure) who are trying to send GLBTQ* stuff over to families in Russia which is ... incredibly problematic, because you're literally sending material over to people who can actually get arrested for having that material, and it's something that can be opened by security, and tracked to see who it's going to? So I can't in good consciousness support those groups. I've instead started looking for groups there to support financially, or groups over here that are gathering funds to send over.

(I swear I'd reblogged a list of orgs to support on Tumblr, but I lost it and am currently trying to find it again.)
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I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night." - Sarah Williams
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Fireof9

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2014, 08:00:51 pm »
Quote from: veggiewolf;137300
I'm a huge winter sports fan, and an Olympic games fan besides, but I'm torn about watching this year due to Russia's human rights problems.  I do not agree with their stance on homosexuality at all, and I'm in an argument with myself over what to do.

I mean, how can I not watch curling?!?

Anyone else have thoughts?

 
I am pretty torn as well.

The conclusion I have come to is this. All these athletes, like every other Olympics, have worked their asses off to get to where they are. Many have basically sacrificed a normal childhood, education and life to get there. For that they deserve support. The LGBT athletes that are competing in this years games deserve to be supported for choosing to go to a games in a country that does not respect them, that could possibly cause them harm. They want this opportunity enough that they and their families are willing to take the risk. I think their courage deserves the support.

As far as security goes........ that is what scares me the most really. It did last summer Olympics and at the 2010 Vancouver winter Olympics as well. This year is worse because there has been terrorist activity reasonably close to the area very recently. But in the end, do we succumb to the fear? Is that not the point of terrorists? To fill us with terror and let that fear dictate our actions?

Just my .02, and would like to add that I totally respect and get why some may choose to boycott this years event.
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Sage

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2014, 09:21:12 pm »
Quote from: Nyktipolos;137449
I feel like being smart about who you choose to support is a good one. There are a couple of groups right now (they may have stopped by now but I'm unsure) who are trying to send GLBTQ* stuff over to families in Russia which is ... incredibly problematic, because you're literally sending material over to people who can actually get arrested for having that material, and it's something that can be opened by security, and tracked to see who it's going to? So I can't in good consciousness support those groups. I've instead started looking for groups there to support financially, or groups over here that are gathering funds to send over.

(I swear I'd reblogged a list of orgs to support on Tumblr, but I lost it and am currently trying to find it again.)

 
FCKH8 can literally screw off and die for a million different reasons. They are a HORRIBLE company, the ones behind the "send tons of LGBT coloring books to kids in Russia!" idea. They're transphobic, biphobic, asexual-phobic, racist, sexist, and pretty much exist just to serve white cis gay bros.
Maker, though the darkness comes upon me,
I shall embrace the light. I shall weather the storm.
I shall endure.
What you have created, no one can tear asunder.

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veggiewolf

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2014, 11:18:15 am »
Quote from: Sage;137317
Everything we do to combat injustice matters. Be vocal about your discomfort, make a point to educate about why the games are so troubling this year. Learn about the LGBTQ athletes and keep an eye on news developments. Write to your local paper, call your local news station. Become your own expert on Russia and gay rights.

 
So, in addition to writing to my local paper and emailing our NBC affiliates, I decided to only watch through DVR.  No opening ceremonies, no tales of hope and/or glory, no glorification of Mother Russia, and no commercials.

On the plus side, it means I get to watch the sports themselves without supporting the pomp and circumstance and "heartwarming tales" that gloss over the human rights violations.  On the minus side, there's too much to watch and I'm hopelessly behind.
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Sage

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2014, 11:22:57 am »
Quote from: veggiewolf;139471
So, in addition to writing to my local paper and emailing our NBC affiliates, I decided to only watch through DVR.  No opening ceremonies, no tales of hope and/or glory, no glorification of Mother Russia, and no commercials.

On the plus side, it means I get to watch the sports themselves without supporting the pomp and circumstance and "heartwarming tales" that gloss over the human rights violations.  On the minus side, there's too much to watch and I'm hopelessly behind.

 
...so where can I watch the Olympics you're watching? So far I've seen a few events (men's speed skating and women's alpine skiing) that are peppered with commercials and propaganda.
Maker, though the darkness comes upon me,
I shall embrace the light. I shall weather the storm.
I shall endure.
What you have created, no one can tear asunder.

-Canticle of Trials 1:10

Sage and Starshine (my spiritual blog): last updated 2/25.
Friday Otherfaith Blogging: last updated 2/27
Join the Emboatening Crew over on Kiva! Emboatening the boatless since Opet 2013.

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