Obama, Harper to skip Sochi Olympics

Moose Jaw Times Herald - Editorial Staff
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U.S. President Barack Obama will not be going to Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

President Barack Obama speaks about efforts to prepare veterans for the workforce, Friday, Aug. 5, 2011, at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The White House said Wednesday that Obama’s schedule would not allow him to fly across the Atlantic Ocean and cheer on American athletes in February. However, in his place, Obama is sending a pair of openly gay athletes tennis icon Billie Jean King and hockey player Caitlin Cahow.

Needless to say, this has sparked some debate in the media.

Granted, Russia has received a heavy dose of criticism for passing laws banning “gay propaganda.” As such, countries like the United States have opposed said laws.

Obama’s decision to skip Sochi is a debatable one, and in the view of many, it’s the right one.

Not only is he standing up for a small sampling of American athletes, he is also standing up for Americans and persons of all nationalities athletes or not that are openly homosexual.

Everyone has the choice to choose his or her sexuality. One country’s political decision to chastise anyone who doesn’t “conform” to heterosexuality in this case Russia according to the actions of Obama, doesn’t deserve to have the world’s most recognized head of state pay it a visit.

While Obama has stood up to other world leaders for a variety of reasons in the past, this particular stance he has taken shows how loyal he is to his country an ever-growing composite of persons.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has also decided to forego the overseas trip to watch the men’s Olympic hockey team try and repeat as gold medal winners, as well as root for other Canadian athletes.

However, unlike Obama, Harper hasn’t been prone to attend past Olympics.

Since taking office as our country’s democratic leader, Harper’s only visit to the Olympics came nearly four years ago when he was in Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Since Obama turned down Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Olympic invite before Harper, he is the one to be applauded.

It’s just too bad our own democratic leader didn’t make what appears to be a difficult decision before Obama.

All Times-Herald editorials are written by the editorial staff.

Geographic location: Russia, Atlantic Ocean, United States Sochi Vancouver

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