Countdown to the HomOlympics

Gold medalists team Russia kiss and celebrate at the women’s 4×400 meters relay victory ceremony during the IAAF World Athletics Championships.

Kseniya Ryzhova and Tatyana Firova kissed on the medal stand at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow. Although Putin declared that any LGBTQUIA athletes and spectators are excluded from Russia’s inhumane law criminalizing LGBTQUIA members, this is not the Olympics yet. What will happen to these women?

Zirin from the publication The Nation states that “it’s far more dangerous to protest your own country than traveling abroad as a non-citizen to express dissent, even in Russia where tourists can be detained for promoting “gay propaganda.” The Metro newspaper in the UK quoted an unnamed source in their camp who described it as “just kissing, not protesting against anti-gay laws.” (Zirin) The other athletes kissed each other as well so i guess it’s not really ‘gay’…

Let us suppose that you purchase tickets to see the Olympic games in Russia how do civilians who take the law into their own hands or Russian authorities determine that you are an Olympic spectator? LGBTQUIA or not, you might look Russian to the bigots that want to torture LGBTQUIA for showing their pride or demonstrating any queerness. How is Putin truly honoring the protection of the athletes and spectators? How is that even possible?

Bob Mackin of the Tyee states “The IOC (International Olympics Committee) is not known as a strong protector of human rights. It claimed it was doing the cause of human rights in China a favour by bringing the Games to Beijing in 2008, forcing the country to open its doors to more than 20,000 international reporters, editors, photographers and technicians.

When these groups arrived at the main press center, they found the promised free access to the Internet wasn’t so free. Websites about Tiananmen Square, Tibet and Taiwan were blocked. The IOC reminded China of the promise, but search engine warnings claiming that such sites were infected by viruses remained. In the years since the five-ring circus moved on and the world media went home, the Communist Party increased its hold. Artist Ai Weiwei, who was involved in the Bird’s Nest stadium design, was later the subject of a high-profile arrest and jailing.” (Mackin).

The LGBTQUIA community in Russia are being tortured and the youth are suffering since they are the ones being targeted. This is a Hitleresque genocide a’la Videla and Pinochet dictatorship/persecutions where queers will be disappearing and tortured como Los Desaparecidos in Argentina.

What will our Russian LGBTQUIA brothers/sisters/trans/gender non conforming go? What will happen to them?
I agree with David Zirin: We cannot ban the Olympics. The Olympics can be used as platform to pressure Putin. Just like Tommy Smith/John Carlos moment to stand up for civil rights, the athletes and news reporters can do the same.

NBC will be covering the Sochi Olympics. NBC Universal’s executive vice president and chief diversity officer stated in a letter to openly queer company employees “”The spirit of the Olympic Games is about unifying people and countries through the celebration of sport and it is our very strong hope that spirit prevails,until then, we have and will continue to cover these human rights violations on our broadcast and cable news networks as the story continues to evolve. We find Russia’s law and the prejudices it represents to be ‘deeply troubling and diametrically opposed to everything that the Olympics symbolize’…Your security is paramount and we will do everything possible to protect the rights, safety and well-being of our employees”. (NBC)

IOC president Jacques Rogge, will have a successor in September at the IOC convention in Argentina, and Rogge has promised to seek clarity from Russian authorities on how the law would be played out during the games.
Perhaps the LGBTQUIA progressive movement within Argentina will rub off on the new IOC presidente elected next month?
A ver que pasa or no pasa.

“We can note that the IOC’s 11 global sponsors “– including Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble and McDonald’s — pay $100 million each for their quadrennial deals and spend more than double their rights fees on advertising, promotion and hospitality events. NBC is the biggest single-source for the IOC, with a $4.38 billion contract for the 2014 to 2020 Games.”(Tyee)

Why can’t we use capitalism to pressure Putin? Bring it on NBC and Mickeydees! It is time to put Coca Cola to better use.–oly.html


Karen Anzoategui is a writer/actor/activist within Los Angeles. Karen received her B.A. in theatre from Loyola Marymount University. Karen has a solo show Ser: L.A. vs. B.A. a Queer transnational tale of choosing between Buenos Aires: the soccer mecca burning in her heart, and Los Angeles: the land of peace and plenty which most recently played at the Macha Theatre in Weho. She has been developing her writing with the L.A. Writers Center since 2008. Other credits include REDCAT, Casa 0101, Nate Holden Performing Arts Center with Teada Prod, Ruby Tragically Rotund directed by Jon Lawrence Rivera at LATC as understudy, ProClitvities at Highways Theatre and Henry V and The Changeling with Independent Shakespeare Co at Barnsdall Park and the Lillian Theatre, Sissy by Ricardo Bracho at CoA. Karen is a stand-up comedian featured on SiTv’s Latino 101 and throughout venues in Los Angeles. Karen is also involved in humanitarian efforts within the HIV field providing housing and hope for people living with HIV/AIDS through the Serra Project. Add me on TWITTER!

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