The Sochi Olympic games will kick off in full force as of Friday evening at 7:30pm. But, preparation for these games has been far from easy. For the last few months, terrorist threats have plagued Russia as they have prepared to host their first Olympic games since 1980.
As American athletes arrived in Sochi earlier this week, concern for their safety has been the top priority of Americans. Riots and threats have formed greatly because of Russian anti-gay actions. President Barack Obama has spoken about the 2014 winter games in many press conferences, and made the decision earlier this year not to attend the games.
This is the first time since 2000 that the President or Vice President of the United States will not been in attendance of the Olympic games. Instead of attending himself, President Obama is sending openly gay former tennis player Billie Jean King in his place, showing Russia and the rest of world that the United States does not put up with discrimination of any sort.
In a recent interview with Late Night host Jay Leno, President Obama spoke on the matter. He stated: quote “I have no patience for countries that try to treat gays or lesbians or transgender persons in ways that intimidate them or are harmful to them… If Russia wants to uphold the Olympic spirit, then every judgment should be made on the track, or in the swimming pool, or on the balance beam, and people’s sexual orientation shouldn’t have anything to do with it.”
As the games begin, Americans will be cheering loud…for every athlete regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation.
Feature image courtesy of NBC.
Video clips courtesy of NBC, CBS, FOX, CNN.