It Is Time to Move The Winter Olympic Games Out Of Russia
Aug 14, 2013
Wayne Benson, Founder

Last week, actor George Takei wrote on his blog: “the IOC [International Olympic Committee] must do the right thing, protect its athletes and the fans, and move the 2014 Winter Olympics out of Russia.”

Supplanting the games is a major step that should not be taken lightly. However, recent events have made it clear that Takei is correct — Russia is an unsuitable and unstable nation that is unqualified to host a major world event. No country is perfect, but when Russia was awarded the Games in 2007, few people knew its warts were actually tumors.

Instead of seeking emergency assistance to get healthy six months before the Big Event, Russia defiantly turned its radiation treatment on its critics, and poisoned the atmosphere. In the run-up to the Olympics, everyone is talking about how Russia has gone downhill, and no one is talking about downhill skiing. At this juncture, no diplomacy can save this patient, and it seems each day there is a new scandal.

In yesterday’s New York Times, readers were greeted by the headline, “Gays in Russia Find No Haven, Despite Support From the West.” Today’s horrible headline in the same newspaper is, “Russia Steps Up Raids Against Migrants.” According to the story:

“Everything about this massive sweep violates Russia’s obligations under international law,” said Tanya Lokshina, Human Rights Watch’s director in Russia.

It seems that no group that doesn’t resemble skinheads is safe in this festering wound of a country. In such an environment, it is insane for advertisers to spend millions of dollars on risky games that could easily tarnish – if not destroy — their brand.



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