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Guest commentary: Sochi Games make President Putin face realities

11:09 PM, Feb. 6, 2014
Russia's President Vladimir Putin said last month that Olympic athletes will be welcomed to Russia.'There are no fears for people with this nontraditional orientation who plan to come to Sochi as guests or participants,' Putin declared in the TV interview.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin said last month that Olympic athletes will be welcomed to Russia.'There are no fears for people with this nontraditional orientation who plan to come to Sochi as guests or participants,' Putin declared in the TV interview.
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Russia's first Winter Olympics opens Fridayin Sochi, the spectacular southern Black Sea resort in the shadow of the Caucasus Mountains. The Games, the most expensive in history, are taking place 34 years after Moscow (then the capital of the Soviet Union) held its first Summer Olympics.

For all that Olympics are intended to be an apolitical event dedicated to athletic competition, they have a way of laying bare political realities, particularly in dictatorial societies.

That is how it was in Moscow in 1980. That is how it is in Sochi in 2014. So much the better. ...

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