Sochi not a safe host for Winter Olympics


Athletes are in danger.

When Russian President Vladimir Putin passed the “gay propaganda” bill on June 30, 2013, violating three articles in the European Convention of Human Rights, Russia should have been banned from hosting the Olympics.

In order to select the host city for the Olympics, the International Olympic Commission (IOC) spends ten months evaluating potential cities, ensuring they meet every standard. Applicant cities must prove to be large enough to support the Olympics, they must gain the support of the residents, and they must have a positive media presence.

Since this anti-gay legislation was passed, hundreds of gay pride parades have been banned and many protestors of the bill have been arrested. Russia certainly does not have a positive media presence.

In fact, as Canada hangs rainbow flags in protest and the three most influential Western leaders (President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel) decline to attend, it seems as thought the entire world is rallying against Russia.

Further, when Sochi was selected, it boasted the miniscule population of approximately 343 thousand residents, according to the 2010 census. Fifty-one billion dollars were poured into the expansion of the small seaside town, adding several large facilities and building an entire railroad system.

In a recent interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin, he said that gay athletes coming to the Olympics wouldn’t be harmed, but made sure to insinuate that they are perverts who should be kept at a distance from children.

It is astounding that Putin has forgotten that the whole point of the Olympics is to have a place where athletes from all nations can peacefully compete for their country.

The safety of athletes and fans for the Olympics is a turn around from the welcoming spirit of Canada in 2010.

Russia claims it is going to do their best to put on a show and ensure the safety of the athletes and fans, and with lines of snipers and a plethora of ID scanners ensuring a secure venue, their efforts are obvious.

Still, Sochi is not a safe haven for all people of all countries, and is therefore not suited to hold the 2014 Olympics.