Sochi Winter Olympics: the media campaign against Russia

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As the Olympic torch draws closer to Sochi, an international media campaign is in full swing, attempting to question Russia’s ability to provide a safe and tolerant environment for the athletes and guests of the Winter Olympics. The Oriental Review weighs in.

Setting aside the issue of whether the complaints about Russia’s human rights record or the alleged terrorist threats in Bigger Sochi region are legitimate, we should point out a couple of official goals of Olympism according to the Olympic Charter:

Promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity” (item 2) and

Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement” (item 6).

Therefore, a respectful attitude towards any nation participating (to say nothing about hosting) the Olympics should be an integral component of what we call the Olympic spirit. It seems this rule is kept when the torch is about to hit the streets of London, Vancouver, Salt Lake City or Sydney, despite the wealth of opportunities to mourn the exterminated native Britons, Indians, and Aborigine tribes.

Even the 1936 Summer and Winter Games organized in Berlin by the Sports Office of Nazi’s Third Reich were considered to be quite in keeping with the Olympic Charter despite racist “Reich Citizenship Law” and the “Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor”, adopted by the Reichstag in September 1935. For the global powers of the time (UK&US), over half a million German Jews being instantly stripped of their citizenship was not a sufficient pretext to suspend two (!) Olympic events in a country that would wage a world war in less than three years!

In contrast, the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics were unilaterally boycotted by the Western countries, undermining the basic principles of Olympic Charter for the first time in modern history. Given the latest confessions by Zbigniew Brzezinski about CIA’ role in making Soviet military contingent enter Afghanistan and consequent launch of anti-Soviet Al-Qaeda project, the pharisaical US-inspired boycott in 1980 today looks even more disgusting in retrospect.

sotchi-map-400x354Another dimension of hypocrisy was evident quite recently, on the very day of the opening of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, when a provocative bloody move against South Ossetia was ordered by the former Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili, who undoubtedly secured Washington’s blessing in advance. The offensive anti-Russian media hysteria that spoiled the Beijing Olympics that year was later revealed to be absolutely baseless and slanderous. Who was called to account for that? Who apologized to the Russian people and the befuddled international community?

On the contrary, the same people are now leading from behind a number of international “initiative groups” anxious about the “violation of gay rights” in Russia, regional security challenges, the fate of the allegedly “oppressed” local minorities and even “excessive Russian public spending on Sochi Olympics”. There seem to be no reasonable limits for malicious minds indeed.

All these claims have been thoroughly rejected (for details read hereherehere and here). The forthcoming Games promise an outstanding athletic exhibition in brand-new facilities built using the state-of-the-art technology. This will be the first chance for the most powerful winter athletes of the world to face each other on Russian soil, for thousands of guests to experience Russia’s legendary hospitality and beauty, and for a global audience of billions to discover a New Russia: a modernized, inspiring, ambitious, charming, and friendly civilization.

It is certainly a Sochi time to definitely close the regretful era of politicized Olympics in favour of a respectful and honest athletic competition of the nations of the world.

Welcome to Sochi! Let’s bring back the genuine Olympic spirit to the Games!

Aerial view on Sochi Olympic Park at the Coastal Cluster.

Iceberg Skating Palace  is a 12,000-seat multi-purpose arena opened in 2012.

FISHT Olympic Stadium (capacity 40000 people) will provide a seaside setting for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics. It will also host several matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The Bolshoy Ice Dome is a 12,000-seat multi-purpose arena that was opened in 2012.  It will host some of the ice hockey events at the 2014 Winter Olympics and will serve as a sports arena and concert venue afterwards.

The Shayba Arena is a 7,000-seat multi-purpose arena in the Olympic Park built in 2013. The venue will host the ice sledge hockey events during the 2014 Winter Paralympics, and some of the ice hockey events during 2014 Winter Olympics. After the Games it will be  dismantled and transported to another Russian city.

The Ice Cube Curling Center  is a 3,000-seat multi-purpose arena in Sochi, Russia, that opened in 2012. It will host all the curling events at the 2014 Winter Olympics and the wheelchair curling events at the 2014 Winter Paralympics.

International Press-Centre at the Coastal Cluster in the Olympic Park, Sochi. Built in 2013.

Interiors of the International Press Centre, Olympic Park, Sochi.

The Media Hotel at the Olympic Park (Coastal Cluster), Sochi.

A castle-style hotel in the Olympic Park, Sochi.

A view on the Olympic flame spot at the central square of the Park, Sochi.

Coastal Olympic Village was opened on January 30, 2014.

Olympic Village at the Mountain Cluster, Sochi.

An aerial view on the RusSki Gorki Jumping Center and other facilities of the Mountain Cluster.

Apart cottages at the Mountain Olympic Village, Sochi.

The Sliding Center Sanki is a bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton track located in Krasnaya Polyana (Mountain Cluster), Sochi. The first top-quality track of the kind in Russia, opened in 2012.

The hotels of the Mountain Cluster built in 2013.

The brand new Sochi International airport opened in 2010.

The completely redesigned railway station in Sochi.

The new high-speed railway connecting Coastal and Mountain Clusters.

A number of new highways were built ahead of Olympics to facilitate traffic in Sochi.

New hospital complex in Sochi, designed for the Games.

The Adler thermal electric power station for the energy supply of the Olympic Sochi and the whole resort after the Games.

Dozens of other infrastructural projects in Sochi like water percolation systems, hi-speed fiber-optical channels, new gas pipelines etc necessary for the development of the area, were not presented in the photo report.

Photos courtesy of Sdelanounas.ru

Copyright The Oriental Review 2014

1 Comment

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One response to “Sochi Winter Olympics: the media campaign against Russia

  1. Western countries use any means to spoil the Olympics in Russia and to harm its image of Russia by trying to use non-existing problems with human ‘- or gay -‘ rights in Russia.
    Western politicians are speaking loud about Human rights, International law, Christian values and the Global village, yet continue to act like the worst times of the cold war.
    It is time to remind all these western hypocrites: mind your own business and clean up your own home first!

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