Russia (AP) — IOC President Thomas Bach accused world leaders Tuesday of using the Sochi Olympics as a political
platform "on the backs of the athletes," and of snubbing the games
without even being invited.
days before the opening of Russia's first Winter Games, Bach used a
hard-hitting speech to call out politicians for using the Olympics to make an
"ostentatious gesture" serving their own agendas.
naming any individuals, Bach's comments appeared directed at President Barack
Obama and European politicians who have taken stands against Russia's law
banning gay "propaganda" among minors.
Olympics, Bach said, should not be "used as a stage for political dissent
or for trying to score points in internal or external political contests."
the courage to address your disagreements in a peaceful direct political
dialogue and not on the backs of the athletes," he said at a ceremony
attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin. "People have a very good
understanding of what it really means to single out the Olympic Games to make
an ostentatious gesture which allegedly costs nothing but produces
the extreme, we had to see a few politicians whose contributions to the fight
for a good cause consisted of publicly declining invitations they had not even
buildup to the Olympics has been overshadowed by Western criticism of the
anti-gay law and Russia's record on human rights and other issues, making Sochi
among the most politically charged games in years.
Obama and key European leaders are shunning the Olympics. Obama, in a clear
message against the anti-gay laws, has sent a delegation to Sochi made up of
three openly gay athletes — tennis great Billie Jean King, 2006 Olympic hockey
medalist Caitlin Cahow and figure skater Brian Boitano.
the first time since 2000, the U.S. delegation to an Olympics will not include
a president, vice president or first lady. Former Homeland Security chief Janet
Napolitano leads the delegation.
President Joachim Gauck and French President Francois Hollande are also not
coming to Sochi. Neither is British Prime Minister David Cameron.
reiterated again that Putin had given the IOC assurances that the Olympic
Charter would be upheld during the games and that homosexuals would not be
said Olympic values stand against any form of discrimination, including on
grounds of sexual orientation.
stressed the IOC must be "politically neutral without being
apolitical" and that athletes must not use the Olympic Village and venues
for "political demonstrations."
IOC has come under criticism for not doing more to fight the anti-gay law, but
Bach said the committee was a sports organization with limited
are not a supra-national government," he said. "We are not a superior
world-parliament. We do not have a mandate to impose measures on sovereign
speech was delivered at a ceremony marking the opening of the IOC's three-day
session, or general assembly, ahead of the games. The German's sharp comments
marked a strong contrast with the relatively anodyne, diplomatic speeches of
his predecessor, Jacques Rogge.
winner of a fencing gold medal at the 1972 Olympics, was elected in September
to succeed Rogge, who served for 12 years.
acknowledged there had been "a lot of skepticism in and outside the
IOC" when Sochi was awarded the Olympics in 2007.
seven years later, we can see that Sochi, that Russia has delivered," he
lauded the IOC's decision to bring the games to the Black Sea resort.
realize what a difficult decision this was to hold the games in a city that
barely had 10 to 15 percent of the necessary infrastructure," he said.
"You believed in us, you believed in the Russian character which can
overcome all difficulties."
the space of five years," Putin added, "we built world-class sports
venues and city infrastructure that normally takes decades to build."
Thomas Bach accused world leaders Tuesday, why not the world know who these world
leaders are. It seems the OIC President suddenly became very active after a long silence
all these days, could anyone elaborate the cause of such a sudden awakening of
the OIC President that too active against the world leaders politics.
dimensional objectives, as if such statement would drive the World leaders to
drive their citizens to go and attend the Olympics. In that case if any
untoward thing happens the entire blame would rest upon the shoulders of world leaders to have done it..
if the Olympic fails to achieve the desired goal then also blame the world leaders
etc, etc. the last is could PUTIN be using the OIC President for Ad purpose and
self safety measure in lieu of heavy payment of hard currency. Needs a
sustained investigation for such a irrelevant statement against the world
like statement should be at once stopped for ever and the OIC president should
be asked to publicly apologies during the opening ceremony.