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First of all, they are hard to contact.  The only way I've found is by snail mail.  If anyone else wants to write to them, here it is:

International Olympic Committee
Chateau de Vidy
Case Postale 356
1001 Lausanne

The letter quotes from the Olympic Charter, which you can find here (pdf)

Letter is below the fold.

To the International Olympic Committee:
Due to threats of arrest and the real possibility of violence against gay and lesbian athletes, the 2014 Olympics cannot be held in Russia.  The games must be moved.  In addition to endangering athletes and their families, holding the games there would violate the Olympic charter.  

Specifically, the Charter says on page 10,

“The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of
practising sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit.”
Some Olympians, after competing, will be embraced by their spouse without incident.  Others will be arrested for that embrace, or be forced to pretend they have no spouse.

page 11:

“Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race,
religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic
Movement….  Belonging to the Olympic Movement requires compliance with the Olympic Charter
and recognition by the IOC.”  
The government of Russia has, through its threats and its actions, failed to comply with the Charter and placed itself outside of the Olympic movement.  However, Russian athletes do not deserve punishment for their government’s behavior and should be allowed to compete if the games are held elsewhere.

page 14 (Mission and role of the IOC):

“to cooperate with the competent public or private organisations and authorities in the endeavour to place sport at the service of humanity and thereby to promote peace;….  to take action to strengthen the unity of the Olympic Movement, to protect its independence and to preserve the autonomy of sport;…  to act against any form of discrimination affecting the Olympic Movement;…  to encourage and support measures protecting the health of athletes”
This section outlines your duties, and also your authority, to promote peace, strengthen unity, act against discrimination, and protect athletes.  Holding the games in a nation that openly discriminates and where hate-fueled violence is condoned would constitute a failure to fulfill your mission.

Can the games be moved in six months, after seven years of preparation in Sochi? Yes, if it matters enough.  Vancouver, Lillehammer, Salt Lake City and other past venues have Olympic class facilities that could be made ready fairly quickly.  If this charter actually means anything, it must be done.


Originally posted to On Puget Sound on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 11:18 PM PDT.

Also republished by The Wide World of Sports.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)

    "Where has Big Government ever gotten us?" " Mars."

    by On Puget Sound on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 11:18:33 PM PDT

  •  There Is One Thing I'd Like To Do (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    surfermom, Balto

    Walk into an Olympic Stadium as an athlete. I can't imagine something I'd rather do. Hold the flag of my nation and compete.

  •  Great letter! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding, Dave in Northridge, blw

    I hope you get a response!!

    "For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it." - President Barack Obama, Second Inaugural Address, January 21, 2013.

    by surfermom on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 12:52:18 AM PDT

  •  Found a FB page for them...International Olympic (0+ / 0-)

    Committee...posted your article there.

    Thx for doing this/sh

  •  Great letter... (0+ / 0-)

    ...but need to have some alternative proposed action as moving the Olympics is just not going to happen.  Full stop.  Another city just could not be ready physically, to say nothing of economically, in this time frame.   Perhaps moving it off cycle would work...

    •  Agreed (0+ / 0-)

      I was living in Vancouver during the 2010 Olympics, made some bucks hauling visitors in a bus. I saw the Lawrence O'Donnell program last week where George Takei said to move it to Vancouver, and my reaction was, "hold on a minute, here."

      I know that the building that was used for the speed skating events no longer has an ice surface; it's now used for basketball and some other activities. I also know that reassembling all the necessary volunteers would be a huge effort.

      If something like this actually happened, the games would have to operate on a much smaller scale. That actually wouldn't be a bad thing, IMHO.

      There are contracts in place for huge amounts of money for the Sochi Olympics. The only real solution is for the IOC to tell the Russian government, "come clean on this issue, or else..."

  •  While I admire your stand (0+ / 0-)

    I think holding the Olympics in Russia and having gay athletes be out and proud and win would make a bigger difference than moving the games.

    In 1968 - what made a bigger impact, the black athletes who refused to participate, or the ones who held their fists high on the podium?

  •  The problem with that (0+ / 0-)

    is that both Russia and the IOC have said they will punish athletes who make any kind of statement or demonstration.  The IOC is concerned about rainbow pins or interviews, but Russian authorities have said that even holding hands in public would be cause for arrest, and the security minister said that athletes would not be exempt.

    This would have been less of an issue when the rest of the world was as repressive as Russia is today, but now gay athletes are out, accompanied by their families, and accustomed to living as humans with rights in many cases.

    "Where has Big Government ever gotten us?" " Mars."

    by On Puget Sound on Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 02:15:25 PM PDT

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