Monday, February 17, 2014

Sochi 1996

I have such mixed feelings about the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Sochi 1996 view from hotel
I've been watching them for a week now, and been just thrilled to see the competition (but also thrilled to see such a beautiful location).

We visited Sochi on a weekend trip back in December 1996.  We rode the train there and stayed in hostels.  Many friends actually swam (it was that warm).  I just remembered all the plants, the architecture was amazing.

But I am distressed by the human rights actions in Russia (and have been for some time).  The imprisonment of Pussy Riot, the freedom of the press.  I am pro-GLBT rights, pro human rights.  
Me @Sochi 1996

So I'm conflicted that by supporting the games, I'm supporting the Russian government and its policies.  

One thing I did learn, all those years ago was that the people were separate from the government.  That just because the American government decided to do things that I supported their actions.  And that the Russian people were generally the same.  It is a complex issue.  So I support the athletes, and I support the peaceful protesters.  

And I do wish I were there now, despite losing most of my Russian language skills.

1 comment:

Freckle Face Girl said...

My cousin has been in Sochi for the Olympics and her pictures on Facebook have been amazing. I'm sure it is a wonderful place.

You're right about people being different than the politics or even religious images we link with them. I think that is one of the reasons that I love people who have traveled overseas with an open mind. It really changes a person for the better.