The United States is a world power, there is no doubt about that.
As the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia approach, many leaders, game supporters and even athletes are talking about boycotting the event.
They claim the boycott would be purposed against Russia’s stance in anti-gay laws and in their own protection from terrorists’ attempts.
While Putin and the Russian legislation’s actions against the LGBT community are not what one would consider humane, they don’t merit the U.S. backing out of the Olympics.
Instead, this call for boycotting could be a reflection of the past, a tactic to cripple Russia’s stance as a world power and its influence on the world.
The last time the U.S. boycotted the games was in the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics during the Cold War. President Jimmy Carter claimed to retract from the games because of Soviet Russia’s unjustified infiltration of Afghanistan, causing 65 other nations to boycott. And yet shortly thereafter, the U.S. also invaded Afghanistan, keeping military presence there long after Russia left.
If the U.S. is boycotting the games solely for people’s rights, the same action would have taken place during the 1936 Berlin Olympics when the Nazi regime demonized their opponents, including Jewish persons and members of the LGBT community, as well as the 2008 Beijing Olympics, when China’s human rights were in question.
Instead of boycotting the Sochi Olympics for Russia’s unethical treatment of the LGBT movement, the U.S. should use its stance as a world power to influence every nation’s outlook on the manner. As a general observation, presence in the face of injustice is more effective than absence.
As for the terrorist threats, there will always be a threat of violence around the world. Just as America rose to the occasion after the terrorist attack of 9/11, we must continue to stand strong against those who despise us.
The U.S. should not let fear politics or violence rule its actions. The Olympic games were created as a peaceful source of competition, as a way for nations from all over the world to gather with one another. We should commit to competing, holding the Olympic motto of “Faster. Higher. Stronger.” in our hearts as we face the circumstances.
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