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Beijing Winter Olympics

  • It was only a matter of days from the moment the Olympic flame was extinguished in Beijing that the sounds of war descended upon Ukraine. We watched for weeks as Vladimir Putin amassed troops on the Ukrainian border, debating the ethics of letting Russian skating phenom Kamila Valiyeva compete despite a positive drug test last December, and wondering when, if, the IOC would ever give out those medals from the team figure skating competition.
  • To be blunt, the women’s Olympic figure skating competition is not going well. It’s not because of poor performances, or bad judging, or even because of the empty arena – although that is disquieting. It’s because the skater poised to win the women’s individual competition and one of the keys to Russia’s gold in the team event, is at the center of a performance enhancing drug controversy that taken over the discourse of the entire competition.
  • Don’t be an ally, a friend once advised, stating a core fundamental in anti-racist activism. Be an accomplice.
  • If you’re watching the Winter Olympics right now, well, you’re in the minority. But that aside, you’re well aware of the drab visual of no-fans and the looming specter of international conflict. Unlike a year ago during the Summer Games, the viewing public has moved past the concept of empty arenas, especially after a football season that looked just like old times. Unless you’re a particular fan of winter biathlon or pairs luge, which to be fair is kind of cool, you’re probably having a hard time paying attention, especially from like 20 time zones away. It almost feels like the most dramatic part of the Games is whether Putin will in fact invade the Ukraine before closing ceremonies, which seems to be a recurrent Olympic theme from Russia, or Russian Olympic Committee, as it’s now called.