8 Dramatic Intersections Of Politics And The Olympics
The controversy over gay-bashing in Russia and the Sochi Games will be just the latest example of the real world clashing with sports' greatest gathering.
The Olympics Games, being the longest-running regularly scheduled gathering of athletes and nations in the world, have often been a stage for political theater of all kind, from blatant propagandizing to moments of inspirational progress. Right now, the Russian government's crackdown on gay rights is the backdrop for the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi. And while Russian authorities might wish otherwise, history indicates that the Olympics don't distract from real-world issues so much as amplify them to the nth degree. If history is any lesson, though, it seems that both the International Olympic Committee and participating nations and athletes will end up being much more concilliatory — or cowardly, depending on which way you look at it — now than they might have been in the confrontational era between the 1960s and 1980s.