My brother has an irritating habit. Well, he has several, but since I have twice as many as he does I'm not going to start a listing them contest. In this case, his irritating habit is to see past the rhetoric, the emotion, the flag waving and point out the heart of the matter.
In this case he said :
@Shadowydreamer If the athletes want to give up their dream to protest Russia, that's their choice. The COC shouldn't ruin their dream.
— David Appleby (@Maniac1655) July 23, 2013
And he's (irritatingly) right. While our government CAN (and I still think SHOULD) say "We do not support Russia and their latest actions" and take political stances, it IS up to the individuals to choose.
I started to weight that comment, with my obvious bias, and sighed at myself. Its very easy for this armchair athlete to dictate what should and shouldn't be done by others. My biggest commitment to fitness or physical competition is walking for exercise. I try to maintain a 15 minute per mile speed and try to keep to a point where my leg doesn't collapse and I land on my face. (I have a hard limit of just over 5 miles. My soft limit is entirely variable on how lazy I am.) This is not even a drop in the well compared to what Olympic athletes go through and I know it.
Its so very easy for me, a hetroflexible, white, disabled, woman to say, "Give up your dream in the name of rights and freedoms of others in a gesture that may or may not accomplish anything significant." I can't even begin to imagine the heartbreak involved in making that decision. "Do I do this for my teammates who are gay? Do I do this because I am gay? Would getting arrested on the world's stage make a bigger statement than my saying I'm not going? Would.." So many things to consider that have no answers when they're considering throwing asside everything they've worked, dreamed, sacrificed and lived their lives for
But I still think our government should decry Russia like a tonne of bricks. If it were racial, you know they would be.