The Winter Olympics are my favorite Olympics to watch. I love the ice skating, the downhill skiing, the bobsledding, the speed skating, and sometimes I even like the curling. But this year I am boycotting them. I am sad that I don’t get to cheer for my fellow Americans and watch the graceful athletes give the performance of their lives. I will miss out on history in the making because I can’t in good conscience support a country that thinks it is okay to allow people to be beaten and killed because they are different from the majority.
Last week, before the Olympics began, I watched a video produced by Human Rights Activists showing the atrocities occurring in Russia. For days afterwards, I was disturbed, couldn’t get the images out of my head, and I wanted to do something. I racked my brain and couldn’t come up with anything that I thought would make a difference. Nothing. But I did decide that wasn’t going to support Russia. The only way I could do that was by not watching the Olympics.
This decision has provoked conversations with my friends and family members. Last night, my eleven year old asked me to sit down and watch the Olympics with her. When I explained why I couldn’t, it opened the door for us to have a great conversation. I gave her a brief and edited version of what was going on in Russia and how people who are attracted to the same-sex are being beaten and killed. She asked if it was like segregation. And I said yes. I told her I’m a firm believer in loving everyone and that I can’t sit by and do nothing. And so she too volunteered to not watch the Olympics. I told her that was her choice and if she chose to watch it, I would not be upset. But she said she didn’t want to.
So, I did something because I felt it was the right thing to do and surprisingly, it has made a difference, a small one. It has opened up people’s eyes and hearts to the abuses occurring in Russia, and maybe these people will want to make a small change in their lives to show their support and eventually, there could be a grass-roots movement to stop the evil, to protect the innocent.