Sochi Olympics: The Politics of Sport a timely topic

The politics of the Sochi Olympics is a hot topic considering the escalating cost of hosting the games the threat of terrorism and Russia’s record on human rights including discrimination against homosexuals and in recent news the mayor of Sochi’s claim that no gay people live in the city.

Mount Royal University (MRU) is hosting what should be a lively debate on the subject tonight January 27 at an event dubbed Sochi Olympics — The Politics of Sport. The discussion will be held in a talk-show style format featuring Canadian Olympic medalists Mark Tewksbury and Kristina Groves along with MRU sports and recreation professor David Legg who is also past president of the Canadian Paralympic Committee.

Tewksbury an openly gay athlete who came out in 1998 six years after winning a gold medal at the Barcelona Olympics has become a spokesperson for gay rights issues. "The anti-gay and lesbian laws that have come out in Russia have really struck a chord internationally with people which is an extraordinarily positive thing to come out of a bad situation” he says in a media release. “In my lifetime I never thought I would see this kind of support for LGBT rights around the world…. It would be interesting to talk about who has had courage to make changes or take stand and who hasn’t — including the athlete’s commission itself and the IOC (International Olympic Committee)."

Presented by MRU’s Somar Speaker Series and the Faculty of Communication Studies the event takes place at the Roderick Mah Centre for Continuous Learning (4825 Mount Royal Gate S.W.) from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.