Thursday, February 06, 2014

Meanwhile, back at the Olympic village....

The 2014 Winter Olympics officially kicked off this week in Sochi,  Krasnodar Krai, Russia. Unfortunately, much of the focus has not been on the athletes who are there proudly representing their respective countries.

One significant story line is the threat of terrorist activity coming from nearby Chechnya. Despite that, Russian President Vladimir Putin has given assurances that there is "ring of steel" formed to protect the athletes.

Another explosive issue is Russia's stance against homosexual rights. In July, Putin signed legislation outlawing pro-gay "propaganda" that can be accessible to minors. But if you believe the mayor of Sochi would, such a law is not necessary.

Amid swirling anti-gay sentiment in Russia, Sochi’s mayor claims there are no gay people in his city.

“It’s not accepted here in the Caucasus where we live. We do not have them in our city,” Anatoly Pakhomov told BBC Panorama in an interview.

Pakhomov said gays were welcome to visit Sochi, which will host the Winter Olympics in just under two weeks, as long as they “respect Russian law” and “don’t impose their habits on others.”

Keep that in  mind as you hear of the squalid conditions that exist in Sochi hotel rooms (e.g. a bug being found in honey, water not being safe to use on one's face, etc.).

Yeah, I know it's a cheap joke. But given some of the tensions surrounding the Olympic games, perhaps it's best to add a little levity.


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