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Today is the official beginning of the Olympics in Sochi, with the Opening Ceremony happening a little after some events have already began. But it’s Google making the impact today as it publicly condemns the unconscionable homophobic actions of host nation Russia. The current “Google Doodle” depicts a number of winter Olympic sports within a rainbow, a symbol of LGBT support. Below the doodle is an excerpt from the Olympic Charter.
"The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play."
Google is making it clear that they are not in favor of the anti-gay sentiment being set forth by Russia. It’s a little jarring that such a major power in the world is so backwards. Sure, Iran’s stance is archaic but you can see where the disconnect from reality is there. Russia isn’t a theocracy, so this attitude has to be another form of fear mongering to control the population. It’s also just plain wrong.
It’s wonderful that we do live in a world where such intolerance is called out and vilified. Even 20 years ago this would have made a few headlines and then been an annotation to the Winter Olympics. Today the world looks, aghast, at the attitudes of the Russian leadership towards the gay community.
These Olympic games are beginning to look like a joke, and you can only hope that some spirit of athletic competition overcomes all the corruption and hate in the coming weeks. Perhaps the sentiments in the Olympic Charter above will shine through as the athletes put their hearts and souls into the games. Because so far, Russia’s run as host nation has been embarrassing for humanity.