In news today, the Australian media is speculating as to whether gay Australian Olympians could be arrested at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, because of Putin's extraordinary anti-gay laws. But of course, it's not just gay people who can be detained for up to fourteen days under these laws, it's anyone who might be suspected as being pro-gay. I'm not sure what pro-gay means, but I have a feeling anyone reading this post is guilty of it. And anyone writing it.
Australian Olympic Committee spokesman Mike Tancred said this: "Under the IOC charter, discrimination of any kind is strictly forbidden. I am sure the IOC values will prevail."
Really, Mike? Really?
Well, that's reassuring. Everyone happy to go now?
You see, I like the ideals of the Olympics. All about striving for the best, and what humanity can do blah blah blah, but it’s hard to take the IOC seriously when, really, you know they’re just a bunch of old men who travel the world for free, and get wined and dined and seduced by countries who, for some reason, think that spending a gazillion dollars on a sporting event is a good idea.
But overlooking blatant abuses of human rights? That’s a whole other level.
You can promote yourself as non-political all you like, except for two things. Firstly, IOC, didn't you boycott South Africa during the apartheid era for shit like this?
And secondly, turning a blind eye to human rights abuses isn’t being non-political. It’s being an accomplice.
For those of us who don’t want to play that game, there is always Amnesty International.