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Make Sochi the Rainbow Olympics
Russian legislation now effectively bans any public display of support or even mere acceptance of so-called “non-traditional” sexuality. Widely held as anti-gay, this has spurred global protest against this anachronistic, retrograde, mentality. With the Winter Olympic games in Sochi this winter, strident calls to boycott, or even to move them have ensued.
While Olympic boycotts as symbolic gestures are perhaps better than nothing, as history attests, they will also achieve nothing better. Time and again we have seen that this merely deprives athletes who have trained exhaustively for years the opportunity to compete, and diminishes the quality of competition that remains; the games in all their pomp and ceremony, and proud celebration and promotion of the host country, simply roll on, largely unawares.
What if everyone who goes to Sochi prominently wears rainbow badges, or sports rainbow colours: athletes, team personnel, and, most importantly, visitors? And, what if we all encourage Olympic sponsors to incorporate the rainbow in their messaging, and support those products and services that do?
Not everyone will do this, of course, for there are those who agree with this Russian policy, and still others who won’t have the will to stand up to it. But the more who do, the stronger and more powerful it becomes.
Ron McKinnon, Port Coquitlam