Opinion - Should the UK boycott the Winter Olympics in Russia?

By Cllr Peter Golds

Peter Golds is a Tower Hamlets Councillor, Arsenal Season Ticket Holder and a Member of the Gay Football Supporters Network.  In this piece, he explains why he believes a boycott of the Russian Olympics would be the wrong action to take.

The greatest triumph of the infamous 1936 Berlin Olympics was the African American athlete Jesse Owens winning four gold medals. However, back home it was forty years before President Gerald Ford invited the legendary athlete to the White House. The US boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics followed by the Soviet boycott of the Los Angeles Olympics four years later achieved nothing, except r disappointment for the athletes who had trained long and hard for their chance of Olympic success.

That is why Gay figure skater, Johnny Weir is going to the Sochi Olympics. I hope he wins and the world see Johnny wave his gold medal in the faces of homophobes across the globe.

However unpleasant the government of Vladimir Putin is, there are no extermination camps, death marches and the other attributes of mass murder perfected by the Nazis. Indeed by trying to compare Putin with Hitler, the crimes of Hitler end up being diluted.

Where would the 2014 Winter Olympics go? Mormon Utah?

David Cameron is correct on this, as are Gay Olympic diver Greg Loughanis and Lesbian Tennis player Rennae Stubbs, both of whom say that the games should stay in Sochi.

When David Cameron and Stephen Fry discussed sport in Tower Hamlets, perhaps they should have considered why I can count just four out Lesbian and Gay British sportspeople; boxer Nicola Adams, equestrian Carl Hester, cricketer Steve Davies and rugby player Gareth Thomas. There are actually more gay Conservative MPs representing constituencies in the north of England than this and politicians, opinion formers and activists need perhaps to consider why gays in sport nearer home remain so silent.


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