Olympic Boycott: Athletes Can’t Compete With Snowden

    July 17, 2013
    David Powell
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Remember that time Jimmy Carter declared a boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics and everything went smoothly? Oh, wait, the boycott was the most universally derided decision of his presidency?

Well, another politician has decided to see whether the same scenario might play out a bit better thirty-plus years on.

Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina has decided that the US should consider forbidding athletes from competing at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, if Russia opts to give asylum to fugitive Edward Snowden. Graham called the fact that Russia would even consider granting Snowden asylum a “slap in the face” and declared that he wanted to “send the Russians the most unequivocal signal [he] could send them.”

Arizona Republican John McCain has countered that the 1980 boycott “wasn’t very good,” hence, following the same blueprint today is unlikely to make headway in a geopolitical debate. Following the 1980 boycott of Moscow in response to the USSR invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, a boycott that many Western nations joined, the Soviet bloc countries likewise refused to participate in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. The boycott of the 1980 Games had no discernible effect on Soviet policy in Afghanistan.

United States Olympic Committee spokesperson Patrick Sandusky has issued the following statement:

If there are any lessons to be learned from the American boycott of 1980, it is that Olympic boycotts do not work.

Our boycott of the 1980 Olympic Games did not contribute to a successful resolution of the underlying conflict. It did, however, deprive hundreds of American athletes, all whom had completely dedicated themselves to representing our nation at the Olympic Games, of the opportunity of a lifetime.

It also deprived millions of Americans of the opportunity to take pride in the achievements of our athletes, and in their dedication and commitment, at a time when we needed it most.

216 American athletes took part in the last winter Olympics in Vancouver in 2010, 37 of whom took home medals.

  • Name

    Graham is losing his mind.

    I love my country. I love my olympic team. I don’t mind what Snowden did. He told us the truth, when so many politicians do nothing but lie, Snowden told the truth. Need a refresher on lying? Just pull up Clapper on youtube.

    Politicians lie to us all the time and nothing happens to them. The one guy who told the truth – we want to hunt to the ends of the earth. What kind of messed up logic is that? How free are you when your freedom is based on lies? The rest of the world sees this. Our children see this.

    I don’t think the average American understands how the rest of the world views us. The rest of the world knows there is something wrong in America. Cancelling the Olympics over Snowden will just add fuel to this fire.

  • Good Ole Graham

    Here is a quote illustrating the intelligence of Lindsey Graham:

    “The debate on the debt is an opportunity to send the world a signal that we are going to remain the strongest military force in the world. We’re saying, ‘We’re going to keep it, and we’re going to make it the No. 1 priority of a broke nation.’ ” New York Times, June 2, 2012

    The man is insane.