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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Olympic protest comes full circle

      If you are old enough you might remember the black power protest of Tommy Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.  Next years Olympics in Russia will probably be the platform for another protest this time for gay rights.   Russia has recently passed a law to banning ""propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations around minors."  

    Scenes like the one above from Getty Images at a recent World Track Championship might be repeated at the upcoming Russian Olympics. While gay activists discuss how to organize the protests, the world's attention on Russia during the Olympics will prove to be an awkward moment for the increasingly undemocratic rulers in Russia.  The "glasnost" period of Gorbachev and Yeltsin is in the past as Russia returns to a the political repression of the old Soviet Union.  It should be entertaining to watch as the world's athletes give the Russian government and their policies a "thumb in the eye" next year.

     For those who are calling for a pull out of the Winter Olympics next year it should be remembered how Adolph Hitler and his racist policies was embarrassed by the athletic success of Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympics.   Additionally the boycott of the 1980 Olympics over the invasion of Afghanistan only hurt the athletes and didn't have any impact on their policies.

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