OPINION: Why I won’t be watching the Sochi Olympics

The 2014 Winter Olympics are kicking off in Sochi soon. While I’m all for supporting the Olympic spirit, and the culture of international unity it represents, it’s going to be very difficult for me to enjoy anything that comes out of these games. Yes, while the Olympics, be they Summer or Winter, have always been primarily an arena for sport, they also carry with them a heavy platform for Government propaganda. It’s evident throughout history, and it continues to remain as such today.

It has been estimated that the price tag for these games is hovering somewhere around the $50 billion mark. That is  money being spent to show the rest of the world that Russia is a place deserving of its status as a world leader. All while the below is happening:

A country that has some of the most severe anti-gay laws in the developed world is going to be taking the international spotlight for the next month, facilitating a harmful culture and broadcasting it to millions. This is a place where something as simple as a small rainbow flag stitched onto a backpack could result in detainment, or deportation. This is not okay.

I’m not calling on everyone to boycott the games. That would be grossly unrealistic. Just have a think about the contents of the video above if you happen to be watching any of the events. Remember what’s happening in the background.

I wish the best of luck to our Olympians travelling to Russia to compete, but sorry. I won’t be casting my eyes on anything that attempts to celebrate a country so grossly in violation of basic human rights – no matter how much Channel Ten might be spending on their advertising campaign.

Words by HARRISON CARTWRIGHT, a sometimes-writer and sometimes-student based in Sydney.

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