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  • Posted February 1, 2014 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Winter Olympics 2014

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    Cotroversey continues as games approach

    I have seen many Olympics both winter and summer come and go, and to myself and others, I am certain, it is one of the most covered events around the world, which is only rivaled by the World Cup of Soccer, which takes place this June in Brazil. However, just in less than one week, the world will come to Sochi, Russia, for the winter Olympics, and bringing with it could be two of the biggest controversies since the cold war era when the United States and the then Soviet Union, boycotted the games of 1980 and 1984, respectively.
    One of the biggest controversies in these upcoming games is the fight for gay rights. The United States has finally approved in some areas of this issue, but in Russia, President Vladimir Putin has not approved of it at all, and with the world coming to his doorstep, there could be protests. Two Female track relay runners from Russia at last year’s World Track Championships kissed each other on the podium that gave a huge media following, showing that even in Putin’s country, there is opposition. There are also statements going around that even tennis legend Billie Jean King, who is gay, will be going with the Olympic team just to make this point against the issue. In my view, it is great that they should make an issue, but it should be kept out of this event and done if it has to, in a more civilized way.
    And of course, then there is the threat of terrorism. This has been a problem for the Olympics either in winter or summer, and since 1972, when 11 Israeli athletes were murdered at the Munich Summer Games, security has been beefed up for every games since, and after so much success at the following games after that event, now, Sochi comes into the picture with a threat from Chechen rebels to interrupt the games so they can to protest their independence that they wish from the Russian homeland. In comparison to the factions that have sponsored terrorism, such as Black September, who were involved in Munich and the most recent Al Qaeda , the Chechens have also contributed to some of the worse terrorist acts which included the 2002 Moscow Theatre hostage taking and the Beslan event two years afterwards, when many children were killed.
    Many police and Special Forces are now situated in Sochi and are waiting to protect all the athletes at the Olympic Village, but how capable are they of handling a hostage crisis or any other sort of terrorist event if it does occur? Moscow and Beslan have proven that Russian Special Forces can get the job done, but many hostages as well lost their lives and this proves that hopefully in my point of view, their tactics by the rescuers hopefully have improved where hostages can be freed without any lives lost.
    The Chechens have continued with their acts with such events as downing a airplane, and blowing up train stations like the one recently in the historic town of Volgograd (which used to be known as Stalingrad, the famous World War II battle site). As a journalist, going to the Olympics and covering it would be an honor, but as a fan, it would be too dangerous for myself, and soft targets might be implemented by the terrorists, where tourists would be shopping and seeing the sites, especially if they are wearing Olympic gear or something that resembles the U.S. So I, as other people around the globe will be watching the events on television and hoping that these games, which took years to build and pay for, will come out well, as I cheer on for my United States team.

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