For months now I’ve wanted to write something about the Olympics in Sochi, Russia. I’ve contemplated on writing an infodump post with list of links I’ve been collecting for the past four month. I’ve vacillated between a satire and different kinds of fictional accounts to highlight the corruptness of Putin’s Russia and the International Olympic Committee not to mention all the jabs I’ve wanted to throw at the local invertebrates doubling as our bigwigs.
Then I saw in a local paper that they’re closing another independent tv channel in Russia. To be accurate, the cable operators are refusing to carry the Dozhd channel. Because of pressure from the government. In other words, criticise the government and get shut down. Or killed.
Democracy needs voices that question and criticise the people in power.
Someone needs to ask why does Putin pay 51 billion dollars to build up an Olympic venue from scratch when other venues already existed in the world. Someone needs to ask why people lost their homes and were never recompensed. Someone needs to ask why a mountain and a river were ruined for a road and a ski jump. Someone needs to ask why big arenas were build for one time only use.
Someone needs to ask why Khodorkovsky and the Pussy Riot were freed. Someone needs to ask why the Greenpeace activists chose last year for their protest, why they were detained and eventually freed. Someone needs to ask why a woman blows herself up in a train station.
Someone needs to ask what happened to the president’s wife. Someone needs to ask why election laws were changed. Someone needs to ask why there are so many shirtless pictures of Putin. Someone needs to ask why gays are vilified and beaten without penalty.
Someone needs to ask why are the Winter Olympics held in a subtropical area in a year with hardly any snow.
I’m not asking for the athletes to boycott what could be the pinnacle of their careers nor am I asking sports journalists to refrain from doing their jobs. I’m asking the sponsors to take responsibility for all they’ve chosen to endorse.
I’m asking you to decide whether or not you’ll ignore all these unanswered questions.