In theory, the Olympic Games should be one of the best examples of global unity and national pride. A pause from constant political differences and turmoil in favor of countries coming together and celebrating athletes from all over the world. While there are always negative storylines that damper what should be an ideal week, typically the tremendous display of athleticism overcomes these and keeps the focus on the games.
Unfortunately, Sochi 2014 seemed destined to be one of the darkest Olympic events ever held. Between outcries over Russia’s stance on homosexuality to controversies over corruption and extravagant costs for the games, what should be a defining moment in Russia’s history has been blemished. However, nothing has created more of a dark cloud over the Olympics this year than the constant threat of terrorism.
There are few global events of such incredible stature other than the Olympics, making the games a seemingly prime target for an act of terror. While there is, indeed, always a threat of such an attack on any event of this nature, according to a CNN Poll an astonishing 57 percent of Americans believe that an attack is imminent on the games.
It is this fear, more than anything, that has some labeling the games as a potential disaster. Even if the games go perfectly as planned, which is likely, it’s possible that this fear looms throughout the games. If this were to occur, it would be a tragedy, as it would overshadow the meaning and significance of the Olympics.
There should always be the utmost caution and security when holding the Olympics, especially given the current circumstances in this moment of global history. It is absolutely necessary. That being said, terrorists thrive on creating fear; it is their goal. To perpetuate this fear is exactly what they want, and right now they don’t have to lift a finger. The news and similar outlets are spreading this fear for them.
Because of this, the fear of terrorism is detracting from what the Olympics should be about. It is a rare occasion where countries can come together and participate peacefully in friendly competition. While we as viewers tune in to watch stunning and awe- inspiring feats, in reality that is far from the most important aspect of the Olympics.
What the world should be focusing on is the celebration of the many cultures of the world and the athletes that represent them. All eyes should be on the beautiful country that is Russia. For a short period of time, the people of that country should be able to stand in front of the entire world with pride as their country hosts an incredible, once in a life time event.
There will always be political controversies and ideological differences, but for this short period of time that all should be forgotten. Now more than ever the world needs this respite, and yet the fear of terrorism is only spoiling it. The Olympics truly are a special event, and the message of global unity should not be undermined by anything. Sochi 2014 can be something special, but only if we focus on what makes the Olympics so great.