From the time it was announced Sochi, Russia would be hosting the 2014 winter Olympics, it has turned into an Olympics of Human Rights. At what point do we recognize the Canadian athletes that have dedicated themselves to compete in them? No time soon I am afraid, in fact the opposite as we fly the pride flag across the nation in protest of Russia's anti gay stance for the duration of the Olympics.
Don't get me wrong, I certainly do not think that Russia's lack of human rights and anti-gay stance are acceptable. The fact is they have been publicized and denounced well by Canada and it's residents alongside many, many, many other countries. It has been covered extensively on the news, in papers, blogs, and social media. Today was the opening ceremonies to Sochi 14, and I have to say they did an awesome job. When it was Team Canada's turn in the parade of nations, you could feel a chill with pride as they were led out by our flag bearer Hayley Wickenheiser. A great start, and what I had hoped would be an end of the negativity surrounding the Olympics. Well, I was sure wrong there.
Across the social media and news outlets there was more coverage of who was, or was not flying the pride flag than the Olympics themselves. Is this really the best support we can offer our Olympians? To narrow the Olympics down to a denunciation of Russia and their lack of human rights? Really? Why is it down to either/or? Could we not hang both the pride and Olympic flags to let our athletes' know we support them across the nation? Apparently not, for Sochi 2014 has become about making a statement to Russia. Sadly not one that showcases Canada's pride in our athletes participation.