The upcoming Olympics that start February 7 in Sochi Russia has not been without controversy. Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s signing into Law banning anything considered pro-gay in Russia. Holding hands in public, gay speech and showing of affection towards a gay partner are also banned. This stirred up a lot of anger within the gay community and many suggested they would boycott the upcoming Olympics.
With the recent bombings in the Russian city of Volgograd within a twenty-four hour period that left 31 people dead caused even more concern for the nations that are planning to attend and compete in the Olympic games. Before these two bombings many world leaders were already concerned with the safety of their athletes and citizens traveling to Russia and were pressuring Russia to increase security for the games. Now in the aftermath of the bombings world leaders are evermore concerned for their citizens and many are considering to not send their athletes in fear of more attacks.
Volgograd, formerly known as the Soviet City of Stalingrad is 400 miles from Sochi, where the Olympics will be held has been a hot spot for terror activities and though no one has claimed responsibility for the attacks Muslim Rebels from Chechnya are suspected to have been behind this. Their leader Doku Umarov emir of the terror group the Caucasus Emirate has called for continuous attacks in Russia in the hope of stopping the Winter games.
Even with Russia adding an additional 5,000 security forces to Volgograd in trying to thwart any more attacks these is still skepticism for the safety of all athletes during these games. There is worry in Russia that visitors not affiliated with the games who usually come to watch the events would rather stay home than risk their lives traveling to the games.
Even with the games a little over a month away the U.S. Olympic committee should either try to force the Russian government to increase security exponentially or threaten to boycott the games. And I am not just saying the U.S. should be the only one to force Putin to increase security but every nation should join the U.S. in their insistence that the Russian government guarantee the safety of all athletes and visitors who come to Sochi in February.
With these concerns in Russia making current headlines, after the games a new concern will be in the spotlight. That concern will also be the safety for the athletes competing in the 2016 Summer games in Rio Brazil.
- Russia bombings kill 31, raise concern on Olympics (cnsnews.com)
- Games will be safe says AOC (news.theage.com.au)