From the Washington Post:
MOSCOW — The International Olympic Committee said Thursday that it had no grounds to challenge a Russian law widely perceived as anti-gay, angering LGBT and human rights activists, who say they will make their case with sponsors and governments taking part in the Sochi Winter Olympics.
On a final inspection tour before the opening ceremony in February, IOC Chairman Jean-Claude Killy declared himself satisfied with the situation in Russia “as long as the Olympic Charter is respected.” The charter describes sport as a human right and rejects discrimination. He pronounced the venues ready and predicted a fabulous Olympics…
Rights advocates said they were furious but not surprised at the IOC’s unwillingness to wrangle with Russia, which is hosting the Games for the first time since 1980 and spending $50 million to do so, the most expensive Olympics yet….
I’ll never be able to think of Jean-Claude Killy without remembering Hunter S. Thompson’s 1970 report on his budding career as a spokesmodel. I guess it says something about the IOC that they brought a proven professional to sell their deeply implausible story.
Oh my stars and garters.
Its all about the Benjamins. That, and the tacit understanding that Putin would likely have various IOC members whacked if they pulled the games from Sochi.
I can’t claim to know whether the Olympics have always been one big giant fraud, but they certainly have been for as long as I’ve been paying attention.
Beijing2008:Tibet :: Russia2014:LGBT
Actually, China’s treatment of Tibet is far, far worse.
Andrew Miller, a member of the New York chapter of Queer Nation, said the IOC had capitulated to a repressive regime. “It has sold out the lesbian and gay community in Russia, when it could have been a powerful force for their protection,” he said.
It’s kind of a standing joke that in the LGBT community the ‘T’ is silent.
Just ask the ousted Grand Marshall of the SF Gay Pride Parade.
Cash is King in politics, and political payback is legal tender.
Shouldn’t that be $50 billion with a big old B?
ETA: The Olympics is fun and all, but $50B?!? That’s about enough to build a new stadium for every football AND every baseball team in America.
Barilla. Proud sponsor of the Sochi Olympic Games.
They’ll probably be serving Barilla pasta in the dining hall as well.
$50 BILLION not $50 million.
But! (From September 14th), New York Times:
One paragraph needs to be moved up from the bottom of the story:
Now the meat of it:
And they already promised to honor the truce. So, short of repealing the law (not going to happen), folks are getting everything they want. That is, gay athletes can attend without being arrested and the rainbow flag can be worn/flown. (That’s how Olympic truces are supposed to work.)
[‘Need to boycott something that actually affects Russia solely.’]
@dedc79: The original concept of “amateurism” was created to ensure only upper class people could compete. Next question.
I’m fully expecting bare-chested preening to be discovered a winter sport and added to the line-up, just in the (probanly vain) hope that Putin will get it out of his system and allow some other athletes up on the steppy things with gold round their necks for a change. Not that I’ll be watching it.
Villago Delenda Est
This, this, this.
Avery Brundage, fascist shitstain, was the biggest bullhorn on the “amateur” status thing.
They’re doing a ton of basic infrastructure at the same time, plus building a Formula 1 venue. Half the money is coming from Russian corporations, so they’ve got other motives here. It’s stupid to get outraged at the costs. If California won a future olympics, we’d probably bundle our high-speed rail plans in with it in some way. But that doesn’t mean the rail wouldn’t have happened without the Olympics. Basically Sochi got to very high profile events to their city within the same year and are using that to justify a bunch of long-needed build-out with the intention that the city remain a popular destination afterward. Same as Rio is doing with their World Cup/Olympic bids.
@NotMax: All we have to do then is get consensual adult sex into the Olympics as an official event.
Nigel Kneale beat you to it.
(Actually, it’s a great dystopian piece. It predicts reality TV with frightening accuracy.)
Whereas the True Progressive worship of Putin (on the sole grounds that he stuck it to Obummer) is in no way dismissive of the struggles of Ls, Gs, Bs, OR Ts.
I say throw the Greeks a bone and make Greece the permanent home of the summer Olympic Games. These perennial political drama’s that play out every 4 years– not to mention the perennial corruption involved in the selection process– aren’t worth it the headaches they cause.
Putin worship? Nyet. But the wide gap seen by putative progressives is a measure for a different graven image with a lighter shade of grey.
The I.O.C. has a long history of this type of sordid behavior. Jean-Claude Killy is, if anything, an improvement over the actual fascist, Juan Antonio Samaranch http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_Antonio_Samaranch
Villago Delenda Est
Are you kidding? The corruption is what the IOC is all about! These guys get whined and dined by all these cities…it’s what the fabulously wealthy aspire to…free food and drink and blow and hookers paid for, ultimately, by the fucking ungrateful peasants! What’s not to like?
Thread needs more kitteh
@Villago Delenda Est: You’ve got to chuckle when people like Bob Costas and the rest wax poetic about the Olympic ideal and pure athleticism and other assorted hooey.
This seems like an error.
HOW CAN IT POSSIBLY BE “FABULOUS” IF THERE ARE NO OPENLY GAY MEN THERE???
Even the ancient Olympics had their share of scandal and corruption, or so I’ve heard.
@Amir Khalid: Yes, they did. It’s sports, and as long as there have been athletic competitions there have been people profiting off of these competitions in one way or another.
@Long Tooth: You know, I’d back this.
@fuckwit: Concurred. You don’t get fabulous with Teh GHey.
Of course the IOC is primarily concerned with the principled standards of athletic competition, and are very protective of our athletes.
@fuckwit: I’m bummed that Johnny Weir isn’t going to compete. He’s the most fabulous of the fabulous
Elsewhere today in the struggle for equal rights: Judge legalizes same-sex marriage in New Jersey; Christie vows
Oh that’s adorable. Yen brought the Olympics to Tokyo. Nothing else.
Cash, strontium and cesium await them all.
They still have the Olympics? When, where?
seems to be more of a sosi update.
Howard Beale IV
Jean-Claude Killy? The French skier who starred in a gawdaulful movie called Snow Job?