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  • Media Watch - NYT Scrutinizes Brazil; ESPN on Historic X Games


    (ATR) Cyd Zeigler writes for the Huffington Post and “says the United States should not boycott the Winter Olympics over LGBT rights.”

    Huff Post writer says Russian LGBT rights should not keep the U.S. from the Sochi Olympics. (Getty Images)
    According to Zeigler, no athlete with skills to compete in the Olympics “should ever be told by her country that she cannot fulfill her lifelong dream.”

    The state in Russia for LGBT rights remains dismal, but “Russian LGBT rights have nothing to do with the athletes who have put in years of sacrifice” to compete at the Olympic level.

    Zeigler calls members of the LGBT community to action, and says: “LGBT athletes and their nations should march into Sochi holding their heads high.”

    • Human Rights Watch publishes its letter to IOC Director General Christophe De Kepper, and voices concerns about Russian LGBT rights in relation to human rights issues surrounding the 2014 Sochi Games.
    • Reporter Juliana Barbassa describes the changes that occur in Olympic bid cities and host cities. Barbassa cites recent civil unrest in Istanbul, a 2020 Olympic bid city vying against Tokyo and Madrid, and Rio, the host city for the World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics.
    • Yahoo Sports also explores questions raised over “sporting mega-events.” These events may simply become “become too big for most countries to handle.” 
    Demonstrators in Rio set debris on fire during a protest against corruption and price hikes. (Getty Images)
    • The Financial Times (FT) reports on skepticism surrounding Rio’s new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). According to FT, “BRT systems differ from regular bus services in that high-capacity buses run on dedicated lanes and are controlled centrally.” The Brazilian government hoped the new transit system would spark hope for the 2016 Olympics, but recent protests leave many wondering whether “this huge investment will be enough to provide public transport that is both affordable and accessible.”
    • The New York Times says “Let Them Eat Soccer.” In an op-ed piece, Elio Gaspari lists reasons behind civil unrest throughout Brazil which ensued over public transit fare increases. For example, Gaspari writes, Rio’s mayor “proudly declared that during his tenure not a cent is being spent on subsidizing public transportation.” However he found $560 million of public money “to spend on the renovation of the iconic Maracana stadium to meet the requirements of next year’s FIFA World Cup.” Gaspari feels the public should scrutinize Brazilian government contract negotiators, not protesters demonstrating throughout Rio.
    • The Rio 2016 Olympic Committee announces that “reducing environmental impact from planning to implementation, revision and post-event activities is a Rio 2016 Committee priority.”
    • ESPN highlights a momentous occasion: the “X Games Munich marks the first time since the 1972 Summer Olympic Games that nearly all of the Olympiapark venues have been fully used at the same time.” “Mountain Bike Slopestyle makes its X Games debut” on Olympic Hill, also known as Trümmerberg or Rubble Mountain. The Olympiapark Munchen ice-sport center will host the Street League Skateboarding, Skateboard Park and BMX Park events. The venue for the Munich Olympics opening and closing ceremonies, and later the memorial service for the Israeli athletes killed in the 1972 Munich massacre, will host the Moto X Freestyle and Enduro X events.
    Yang Yang. (IOC)
    • The IOC highlights an Olympian’s recent “walk down memory lane.” IOC member and short track speed skating legend Yang Yang recently visited Norway as part of the IOC’s visit to review the progress of the Lillehammer 2016 Youth Olympic Games. “It’s very special to be back here,” said Yang, “All the memories have come flooding back.”
    • IIan Goldman writes for Hareetz and says in a recent article “The 2016 Olympics Games in Rio de Janeiro are more or less a lost cause. This generation of dedicated Israeli athletes have been let down by the Israel Athletic Association.”
    Written by Nicole Bennett.

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