BOSTON (CBS) — By some definitions, you’d have to say the Sochi Olympics were a big success.
The athletes were superb. The competition was intense. The TV ratings were strong. There were no terror attacks that we know of. And the Russians won more medals than anyone else, so they got something for their $50 billion.
Listen to Jon’s commentary
Mission accomplished, right?
Only if we see the Olympic Games as nothing more than a high-level, made-for-TV sports event with extra hype but no extra significance.
That’s not how the International Olympic Committee claims to see them. Their charter is full of bold talk about promoting “peace,” serving “humanity” and actively opposing “discrimination.”
In that sense, the Sochi Games were a total flop.
When violence exploded in Ukraine, members of the Ukrainian Olympic team wanted to honor their dead by wearing black armbands, but the IOC reportedly refused. After all, you wouldn’t want to embarrass your Russian hosts, who are neck-deep in the fiasco there.
And the keepers of the Olympic flame have had little to say about the attacks on peaceful protestors in Sochi. No surprise there. Human Rights Watch says it’s detailed reports to the IOC about abuses in the run-up to the games were met with “obfuscation or outright misinformation from the Russian government, and the IOC consistently accepted the Russian government’s position at face value.”
I congratulate the great athletes who competed in Sochi. Too bad the people who run it have turned the “Olympic creed into a joke.”
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