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U.S. to Boycott Sochi?


Soaring
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I don't think it is going to happen, but shadows of 1980 are creeping up....

How much money would be lost if the U.S. didn't show up? Just curious about your thoughts...

Graham: US should consider Olympic boycott over possible Snowden asylum
July 17, 2013
By Kasie Hunt and Kelly O'Donnell, NBC News

A key U.S. senator has told NBC News that the United States should consider boycotting the upcoming Winter Games if Russian President Vladimir Putin grants leaker Edward Snowden asylum — even suggesting that Putin's actions should raise the specter of the pre-World War II Berlin games hosted by Adolf Hitler's regime.

"I love the Olympics, but I hate what the Russian government is doing throughout the world," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told NBC News on Tuesday. "If they give asylum to a person who I believe has committed treason against the United States, that's taking it to a new level."

Why consider boycotting the Olympics, set to be held in Sochi, Russia, beginning in February 2014? Graham says that playing host of the Games gives Russia a propaganda platform to promote itself at a time when, he contends, the Russians are responsible for enabling Iran's nuclear program, threatening Israel and supporting Bashar Assad in Syria.

"If you could go back in time, would you have allowed Adolf Hitler to host the Olympics in Germany? To have the propaganda coup of inviting the world into Nazi Germany and putting on a false front?" Graham said of the Games.

"I'm not saying that Russia is Nazi Germany," Graham added, "but I am saying that the Russian government is empowering some of the most evil, hateful people in the world."

Snowden, who leaked classified documents on U.S. surveillance programs, has been effectively stranded in the Moscow airport for weeks because his U.S. passport has been revoked. The U.S. government has charged him with espionage. He recently applied for temporary asylum in Russia while he tries to plan his travel to one of the South American countries that has offered him permanent asylum.

"What I'm trying to do is let the Russians know enough is enough. How much more are we going to let them get away with before we make it real to them?" Graham said.

Russia is scheduled to host the Olympics in Sochi, a city on the Black Sea near Georgia, beginning in February 2014. The Games will be televised by NBC.

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Edited by Soaring
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I hope this doesn't happen. Olympic boycotts only lead to tit-for-tat backlashes. Look what happened after the US-led boycott of 1980 Moscow? The Russians and other Eastern-bloc nations promptly boycotted 1984 Los Angeles in retaliation.

Let the Olympics be an oasis of sporting competition and international coming-together, no matter how brief or short-lived!

Edited by Mainad
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^^ What he said,

If individual athletes want to boycott, fine. If politicians want to publically turn down invites for themselves in protest, fine. If protest groups want to make a noise, fine. But no athlete should be forced to boycott what they've trained years for.

Also, given the appalling direction Russia has taken lately with human rights, it's kind of depressing that Snowden is the thing that's triggered someone in the US to suggest a boycott.

Edited by RobH
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If the IOC deems the country "acceptable" enough to host, I think there is little chance for a country to warrant a boycott. If we are willing enough to cooperate in space and have our presidents meet in person, we should be willing enough to play sports in their country.

Graham has no credibility anymore when it comes to international relations. Sadly, he usually is connected at the hip to John McCain.



Based on today's rules, would the U.S. (or any country for that matter) be able to boycott? What would the ramifications be other than the host country being offended?

How much money would be lost if the U.S. did boycott? NBC would certainly take a hit (hence why they were quick to publish the story).

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If the IOC deems the country "acceptable" enough to host, I think there is little chance for a country to warrant a boycott. If we are willing enough to cooperate in space and have our presidents meet in person, we should be willing enough to play sports in their country.

Graham has no credibility anymore when it comes to international relations. Sadly, he usually is connected at the hip to John McCain.

Haha, poor guy can't even get McCain to support him...this is what McCain has had to say....

Senator John McCain on proposed Olympic boycott: "the experience of cancelling the Olympics the last time around wasn’t very good"

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U.S. Olympic Committee statement regarding a boycott of the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, RussiaUSOC Communications 719-866-3218

July 17, 2013 11:04 AM communications@usoc.org

The following is attributable to United States Olympic Committee spokesperson Patrick Sandusky:

"If there are any lessons to be learned from the American boycott of 1980, it is that Olympic boycotts do not work. Our boycott of the 1980 Olympic Games did not contribute to a successful resolution of the underlying conflict. It did, however, deprive hundreds of American athletes, all whom had completely dedicated themselves to representing our nation at the Olympic Games, of the opportunity of a lifetime. It also deprived millions of Americans of the opportunity to take pride in the achievements of our athletes, and in their dedication and commitment, at a time when we needed it most. While we acknowledge the seriousness of the issues at hand, we strongly oppose the notion that a boycott of the Olympic and Paralympic Games is in our country’s best interests.

http://pressbox.teamusa.org/Pages/U-S--Olympic-Committee-statement-regarding-a-boycott-of-the-Olympic-Winter-Games-in-Sochi--Russia.aspx

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Can't really see this happening for several of the reasons mentioned here. You only hurt the Olympians who make the team the most and the media rights holders and Olympic team sponsors. If the Olympians don't want to participate as individuals or politicians refuse to shake Putin's hand, fine. Russia's not the best place right now socially and politically. But it's about "taking part".

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Ugh.. welcome to the news cycle of the 21st century. 1 guy speaks out about his feelings on Russia and it becomes a story. To compare the Russia of today to Nazi Germany just before WWII or US-Russia relations at the height of the Cold War is beyond absurd. Unless something far crazier than Edward Snowden happens between now and next February, there will be American athletes in Sochi, without question.

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Probably, it's too bad though just based on the recent homophobic stuff that's been going on in Russia in general. Anyone and everyone who cares about equality should boycott Russia just in general.

Their policies are reprehensible, but a boycott is not happening.

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Their policies are reprehensible, but a boycott is not happening.

I know dude, it's ok I know it's not happening. I still think it's shameful that it won't happen, in an age of equality and in a world where we are forging new territory for equal rights, now we have the IOC and giant corporations who are just behaving like, *whistles* maybe no one will notice, and hey as long as the money is flowing who the hell cares about human rights and discrimination.

How hypocritical is it going to be when Russia issues entry visas for openly gay athletes, I hope at least some people in Russia protest and make a huge deal out of this. It's sad that the only thing the IOC has said about these egregious laws being passed is how they value non-discrimination and equality, really?

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So what if they boycott? Nobody missed the US back in 1980 and I don't think nobody will miss them if they boycott again. There are no indispensable countries!

The only ones who lose are athletes and sponsor companies (like Coca-Cola). Anyway, what kind of cr**py politician uses Olympics today for protesting?

I really disagree with this. Both '80 and '84 were marred by the boycotts.

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