There have been a lot of things said about the upcoming Olympics scheduled for Sochi, Russia next year.
Because of the current stance that the Russian government has been taking on the rights of members of the LGBT communities there are a growing number of voices calling for the Sochi Olympics to be moved or boycotted.
I agree a message needs to be sent to the Russians about this.
But can we send a message and how should it be sent is where the difficulty arises. Many are calling for the Olympics to be moved to another location, Vancouver being mentioned a lot of the time, but there is a problem here. Even though much of the infrastructure for the Olympics still exists in Vancouver, I don’t know if there would be enough time available to make it happen.
Hosting an Olympic Games is a huge undertaking and takes years to set up and there are only 6 months until the scheduled start of the next Games. And then there would be the incredible amount of jumping through hoops to get the Olympic Committee on side as well. I just can’t see it happening.
The other alternative is to boycott the Games. I can’t support that.
We’ve already seen Olympic boycotts and they really didn’t do a thing anyhow. The only ones who really lose in a boycott are the athletes. Imagine training all your life and at the peak of your career being told you can’t compete…
Then a thought occurred to me, a simple thing, a simple message that we could send to the people of Russia and their government.
A visual protest.
One of the images that has lasted from Olympics past is that of two athletes with their heads bowed and a fist raised in a Black Power salute. Although these two had competed for the US and had medalled, they still made their silent protest over the treatment of Blacks in the US.
My thought for the upcoming Games in Sochi is to provide any and all athletes who want to wear them with rainbow coloured mittens.
The Rainbow Flag is well known throughout the world, there is little chance that the message would not be understood.
Think about it, what would the message of thousands of athletes, waving rainbow mittened hands at the crowd as they enter the Olympic Stadium be? A very polite finger for Mr. Putin, I think.
Or maybe three medalists, standing on the podium, waving their Rainbow Mitts at the world?
Look, I don’t want to step on any toes as I know there is a great deal of effort being put into protesting the Sochi Olympics by some rather important people. I’m just putting out an idea that if their plans don’t work out, here’s a simple option.
It would simply be a sign of support to our friends around the world who are part of the LGBT community, especially those in Russia who probably could use it.
Now if some enterprising athletes manage to sneak in a huge Rainbow Flag for the Closing Ceremonies that would be something!
The Olympics of Mexico City are remembered for those two raised fists, wouldn’t it be ironic if the Sochi Olympics were remembered for open hands with rainbows on them?