In six months the world’s eyes will be watching the Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia. Sochi, a black sea resort, will host the Winter Games February 7-23 and the Paralympics March 7-16. Ninety-eight events in 15 sports will be held as Russia will welcome athletes and fans from around the world.
Like with any other Olympics, the excitement and the spirit of the games builds — but with scrutiny since the controversy surrounding the anti-gay ban has erupted. Will Russia be rid of its black eye with world watching?
The new anti-gay law signed by President Vladimir Putin in June of 2013 bans “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” and has already seemed likely to spark protests until the end of the Feb. 7-23 Winter Games.
The Associated Press went on to say that U.S. President Barack Obama, British actor Stephen Fry, and international gay rights groups have increased attention on Russia over its new anti-gay law. The International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge said Friday that he is “comforted” by Russia’s assurance that the charter’s ban on discrimination will be respected. “We are going to inform now all the national Olympic committees and all the athletes who want to have clarity,” Rogge told reporters after addressing the U.N. General Assembly. Gay activist Nikolai Alexeyev told The Associated Press on Friday that he would petition the Supreme Court next week to contest the presidential decree banning rallies in Sochi as “violating our right of freedom of assembly.” The IAAF called on Russia to reconsider its views on gays, but said Wednesday that it does not want to raise political issues about the country’s new anti-gay legislation at the world championships.
The question remains: will Sochi be rid of its black eye in time to host the Games or it will be healed enough to welcome the whole world?
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