Sochi Strife: Are You Turned Off by Olympic Games in Russia?

Quadrennial event has received heaps of negative attention.

Hundreds of athletes from around the world gather every four winters to compete in the Olympic Games.

But you wouldn't know much about those athletes in 2014, an Olympic year, since much of the Games' coverage has been about the host country's stance on human rights and its alleged inability to properly house all visitors.

Opening Ceremonies took center stage last Friday, as the actual competition was underway late last week. Much of the attention, though, has been focused on Russia's anti-gay laws, a reportedly inhumane eradication of stray canines near the Olympic Village, and living conditions that aren't so ideal, despite a $51 billion price tag to construct all facilities. 

The Games, though, don't come around often, and are enjoyed by millions around the globe. Has the activity outside the actual sporting events been enough to turn you off from the 2014 Olympics? Do the politics in Russia make you want to boycott the Games, like some have pledged?

Let us know in the comments section how you feel.  
dhinee_ February 10, 2014 at 08:21 AM
Jason Koestenblatt (Editor) February 10, 2014 at 08:29 AM
Thanks for the comments, everyone. @Jim: Just to clarify, we're not posting this question to readers to overshadow the great accomplishments of American athletes (or any athletes competing in the games, for that matter). Rather, because these Games have received so much backlash (long before many of the U.S. athletes even secured a spot on the roster), we wanted to know if our local readers were bothered by what they were seeing/hearing, or if it didn't matter. That's all. Thanks again!
Sue Young February 10, 2014 at 09:06 AM
I have been totally turned off by the TV coverage since the magnificent opening ceremony which received "eh" coverage or gleeful repeats of the star that didn't open. Nothing but "Putin just wants to show his power ... power ... power." And an amazing display of ignorance about what was actually being shown by the commentators. What country doesn't want to show off its history at the games? It was an amazing display of the glory of Russia's culture and history. And I'm gay! Let's cover the athletes, and save the diplomacy to fight the horrendous attacks on gay people in many if not most countries in Africa, inspired in many places by American evangelicals.
Rev. Rachel Brown February 10, 2014 at 10:37 AM
I love the Olympics, have been to two myself and find the TV coverage on NBC and stories inspiring and encouraging. Are there short comings of every Olympics? absolutely. I had planned on attending Sochi but my friends that lived and worked just an hour from Sochi were kicked out of the country last fall. Would I want a story about that in the Patch? not really. I find the negativity of the Patch and the stories to be discouraging. It would have been great to wake up and read a story of a local Olympian or a Montclair person that has striven to be in the Olympics, gone to the Olympics or even knows someone in the Olympics to connect the local community of Montclair with the Global happenings of the Olympics. I have almost completely stopped reading the Patch since it became an outlet for re-hashing news stories that we see every day on other news outlets. Where have the daily stories of inspiring Montclair events, people, and local news gone? Is the Patch short staffed? Has the the purpose of the Patch changed from local stories to just sharing the greater news? I miss the days when every day you could read about your neighbor, co-worker, events etc. of the the local community.
Me February 10, 2014 at 10:47 AM
I like the Olympics but Bob Costas is awful and annoying. GO USA!!
Christine February 10, 2014 at 11:41 AM
I watch the Olympics, not the politics. You don't think that other countries complain about America when the games are here? But it's not about the location, or the politics. It's about the sport. The dreams. The people. I was impressed that the girls snowboarders all had positive things to say about each other (and more impressively, in English), instead of only caring about only their own. That is what this is about- the common bond of sports that unifies the world for these 2 weeks.
Brad Schaeffer February 10, 2014 at 02:13 PM
We have to remember that Russia has been, and still is, a gangster state. 35 percent of the country's household wealth in concentrated in just 110 people...yes, one hundred ten. All made on the up-and-up I'm sure. That's out of 143 million people. You will have to search obscure Caribbean islands to find a country with worse wealth disparity. So it is inevitable that such a corrupt place would be hyper-sensitive and political. The former KGB torturer who is their new tsar in a nice suit has a lot to protect...and a lot about his country's inner workings to keep under wraps. I do like the childish paranoia that the state-run Russian media exhibits. When a CNN reporter inadvertently (and disrespectfully I agree) offered that a memorial at Brest-Litovsk, which was the scene of a brutal WW2 battle, that depicts a Russian solder emerging from the earth looked to some as if he were 'constipated' the children of Vladimir Capone bit back quickly. Even though CNN apologized, one of Russia's more reactionary newsmen commented that the Iwo Jima Marine Memorial in DC had homo-erotic overtones. Wow, an anti-American, anti-US Armed forces and homophobic statement all in one package. Whatever. So much for fun and games. The Russian leadership, many of whom like Putin are neo-Soviets, never seemed to understand that what makes a country great isn't how many medals you bring home...even if you fix a basketball game to get them. We loved watching our hockey team beat the Russians because everyone knew the CCCP guys were professionals whereas our team where just college boys. But even that doesn't matter. It's what those soldiers who make up the statues stand for. The Russian soldier fought to rid his country of the forces of evil in Hitlerite Naziism, and to replace it with the forces of evil in Stalinist Communism. What did the Marines fight for? You can ask generations of free people from Korea to Japan itself that question. Plus, let's be honest...if you're in a foxhole who would you rather covering your back? A conscripted Russian peasant or a US Marine? Now, back to the curling competition. Who needs the NFL when I got this. (I bet Malcom Smith would make one heck of a 'sweeper')
rubberband February 10, 2014 at 02:26 PM
Curling is my favorite event. I'd like to try this after several beers...currently going thru my mental rolodex of people to play with...In my version, the stones are bigger, we don't let go of the stones and we just sort of bash into one another. Full contact curling. Look for it. Next Olympics. (Along with full contact team figure skating, and full contact team luge. It's gonna be great.)
Windrunner February 10, 2014 at 02:36 PM
the full contact figure skating would still get claims of being rigged by russia and the u.s. to exclude the canadians.
rubberband February 10, 2014 at 02:42 PM
ROTF. O man it's PERFECT..."Excuse me, oh pardon! Whoa, oopsy there kinda close there, friend! O so sorry!"
Paulus Chuikov February 10, 2014 at 06:47 PM
The gay rights groups and the U.S. media have tried their best to bring attention to Russia's anti-gay stance. People in these U.S. movements always have a hard time dealing with the fact that the rest of the world really does not care about your interests. Its not just limited to gay rights. The U.S. puts up with it because of the P.C. police. The rest of the world does not bow down to U.S. pressure groups and their media lapdogs. The Olympics are a corrupt organization and the notion of young amateur athletes from around the world has long faded. Even Utah was corrupt you sheep. Hold up all the signs you want in support of gay rights, the world is not listening. They don't care.
Hookerman February 10, 2014 at 07:02 PM
Considering that it was only 3 years ago that the U.S. was kicking gays out of the military (thus, ending their careers), I'm not sure that we're in any position to pass judgment on Russia.
rubberband February 10, 2014 at 07:13 PM
Our "new full contact curling event" is open to all people...only quality required to become a member is a sincere desire to bash, at great speed, into the other team...with no fear or concern for your physical safety. (The consumption of alcohol will most likely help for this.) The uniforms will be flattering and brightly colored. Please leave your name if you are interested.
Bernie February 10, 2014 at 10:13 PM
The Olympics are for young athletes , not for [politics and Gays crying how they are picked on. 2 % of our population trying to control the 98 %.
Windrunner February 11, 2014 at 02:26 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4CEaoNADiY a love letter to Putin
Robin B February 11, 2014 at 08:24 AM
Holding Olympics in violent dictatorial states is analogous to the UN accepting membership from tyrants, murderers and worse. Where to draw the line? Maybe some would disqualify the U.S. for our own Civil War? I put the blame on the socialistic IOC. Soon after becoming Prime Minister under Yeltsin, Putin ordered a massive bombing campaign against Chechnya which killed hundreds of civilians and left tens of thousands homeless as civilian targets were attacked. Should that alone, separate from whatever Putin did for 15 years in the KGB be a disqualification from Olympic consideration. I'm not watching, but our athletes shouldn't be penalized for poor Olympic Committee decisions.
Liberty February 11, 2014 at 10:04 AM
Could we just concentrate on the athletes and their performances? The US doesn't get to push our way of life on another country; ie: gays. If you don't like Russia's politics, don't attend, or watch, the games. China did a fabulous job with their Olympics and they're a communist country. No Olympics is perfect and someone will always find fault no matter who is hosting--including in the US. (BTW--Shaun White pulled out of the slopestyle, not the half-pipe.)
Teeluvsaruba February 11, 2014 at 10:09 AM
Russian should never been allowed to host the Olympics. Putin is freaking crazy and god knows what he can do. Look at what he's doing to the poor stray dogs claiming it will be better for the tourists. It's a communist country and in no way should we recognize it. Gay or straight Bernie. Get your facts straight. It's way nor than 2%.
rubberband February 11, 2014 at 01:39 PM
So thats a no on full contact curling?
Andy Skurna February 12, 2014 at 11:29 PM
Wow! The level of ignorance and apathy in these comments is infuriating. You people have NO IDEA what is happening, and you seem to be proudly overflowing with nonsense. People are LITERALLY BEING HUNTED AND MURDERED. But, that's okay, as long as you can watch a game. You're annoyed when someone tries to educate you? You're pathetic. The Russian Orthodox church has been pumping lies to 140,000,000+ people, who are brainwashed into believing it is okay to just murder someone, even if it is your child, your brother, sister, cousin or next door neighbor. Putin is a master manipulator and opportunist. Are any of you aware that a man who came from nothing to takeover the county is now worth $70 Billion? Yes, $70 BILLION dollars, in a country that is disintegrating, where few have jobs, where even fewer have any hope. But, it is perfectly okay that he is allowing 5% of his own people to be hunted. Why? Because it offers the perfect distraction. While all the brainwashed people are out trying to beat, murder, or exorcise their relatives, Putin is raping what is left of their economy, and invited the world to help him do it. Abject poverty blankets the nation, and Putin wastes $51 Billion to create a Disney-like resort town that no one can afford to go to and no one wants. That is as ass-backwards as Christie kissing the NFL's ass and giving away MILLIONS of taxpayer dollars in State Police overtime and Homeland Security to get NOTHING in return. The TAX-EXEMPT NFL sold nearly 80,000 tickets at a minimum price of $500, and we did not get one cent in sales tax. They sold $400,000 boxes...no sales tax, no income tax. They charged $150 per car to park...no sales tax paid. I normally support the Olympics, when the Olympics adheres to their own rules. But, this time the IOC is an equal partner in Putin's crimes.
rubberband February 13, 2014 at 12:25 AM
I'm neither apathetic or ignorant. Putin is absolutely, completely insane...I agree to that. My "flip" comments are directed to those made specifically about gay rights and Olympics being "ruined" and what not....Satire and pointing out the absurdity of this "argument" was more to the point for at least a couple of us. (And curling has got to be the most 'we made it up while we were drunk' sport on the planet.)
Windrunner February 13, 2014 at 02:54 AM
So before the olympics most americans could give a rat's ass about whats been going on in russia, but now that its put the spotlight on all of it, and we are all talking about it---its a bad thing? can't win and can't lose in this argument. So, I'm going to save my energy for digging out my car......again.
Hookerman February 13, 2014 at 07:46 AM
So what you seem to be saying Andy is that watching the Olympics is no worse that watching the Super Bowl.
rubberband February 13, 2014 at 01:38 PM
^ what he said.
Alice Jameson February 13, 2014 at 02:21 PM
Is it less of a crime against humanity if one watches the Sochi Olympics involuntarily? I didn’t intend to, but I was forced to wait for my car to be repaired and I couldn’t control the television. If it’s any consolation to the offended, a lot of the figure skaters fell down.
rubberband February 13, 2014 at 02:34 PM
I sorta of love you right now, Alice. You can be on my curling team.
Alice Jameson February 13, 2014 at 02:52 PM
That’s sweet. This curling you speak of sounds like fun—so long as the uniform colors ain’t orange!
rubberband February 13, 2014 at 02:58 PM
You got it. No prison orange...
Alice Jameson February 13, 2014 at 03:24 PM
My hatred of the color is a bit more deep-seated and complex. However, the prison connotation is reason enough to avoid the wretched hue.
rubberband February 13, 2014 at 03:45 PM


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