EDITORIAL: Boycott leaves Russians in cold

The best strategy is to compete in Sochi, show solidarity with the Russian gay community, including gay athletes from around the world.

There are only seven months to go before the 2014 Winter Olympics kick off in Sochi, Russia.

Athletes from around the world, including Canada, are heading into their final preparations, hoping to do themselves and their countries proud.

The patina of the gold, silver and bronze medals has taken a hit recently as the Russian government imposed new laws.

The laws prevent the discussion of homosexuality in front of children or even taking part in pro-homosexual events, or Pride events.

To be fair, the law is applicable to tourists, including athletes and media, not just Russians.

The new law has some people worried.

Understandably, gay athletes are wondering if they should participate in the Winter Olympics.

The more vocal position, including from the LGBQT community, is asking Olympic organizations around the world to boycott the Sochi Olympics.

Should a boycott take place, provisions in the bylaws of the International Olympic Committee allow for the Games to be hosted by the previous host, in this case Vancouver.

But a boycott and/or moving the Winter Games back to Vancouver wouldn’t help anyone except the Russian government.

Gay communities around the world, including Canada, have worked hard for equal rights.

Walking away from Sochi would be a slap in the face to homosexuals in Russia and elsewhere.

The best strategy is to compete in Sochi, show solidarity with the Russian gay community, including gay athletes from around the world.

Compete and make friends.

Do it with pride.