Olympics should not be celebrated

Re: Celebrate Canada’s Olympic athletes, Feb. 10

I am highly disappointed at The Cord’s Editorial Board for their dramatic show of apathy toward the enormous economic, social, environmental and cultural costs of the Winter Olympics as presented in the last issue of The Cord.  

The global convergence to protest the Olympic games and the groundswell of dissatisfaction among ordinary Canadians is not merely a by-product of malcontents who have an axe to grind with the capitalist system, it is deeply rooted in the blatant human rights violations and environmental damage created by this event.

Such issues should not be ignored but revealed to the world as the true cost of the Olympic phenomena.  

Hypocritically, despite the claims to the contrary, the Editorial Board does exactly that – brushes over the multi-billion dollar debt, the theft of Native land, the criminalization of the poor, blatant plagiarism of native culture and enormous environmental damage, among many other things, as if these were worthy sacrifices for a two-week party to showcase an idealized version of Vancouver. It’s not.

The repercussions of these Olympics will be felt for decades by ordinary citizens who have to carry the costs.

While men and women, Canadian or not, should be admired, respected and honoured for their hard work and diligence to become some of the best athletes in the world, these Olympics are nothing to be proud of as they are antithetical to what Canada should be about – tolerance, equality, environmental sustainability and justice under the law.

–Anatolijs Venovcevs

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