Monday, October 8, 2007

2014 Winter Olympics in Russia

The Olympics Games can be traced back to Ancient Greece. Every four years, the event marks an important tradition between existing countries of the world. Not only is it a competition of each country’s most elite and talented athletes, but it also promotes global peace between countries- something definitely important in society today.
It was announced that the 2014 Winter Games will be held in Sochi, Russia, an area on the coast of the Black Sea. Most citizens would feel honored to have their hometown be the host of an Olympic Games event; however, the people who live in the Imeretinsky Lowlands are less enthused. And rightfully so, considering they are being told that they must leave the houses where they grew up because their homes happen to be in the way for construction of ice rinks for the Olympic Games. “Basically everyone knows that their houses are going to be knocked down. It's just a question of time,” says Dmitri Kaptsov.
These 5,000 people are not the only ones who will have to give up the life they built. The lowlands happen to be home to many rare plants, and offer a resting stop for migratory birds. How is this legal? Unfortunately, residents of this area have no laws to protect them, and environmentalists have even less luck trying to protect the plants and animals.
Despite not having any documents or laws to back them up, some residents, who have history going back to the 1600’s in this area, are refusing to leave. “Lyuba Fursova, 45, is a member of an Old V Believer family that has farmed former swamps in the Imeretinsky Lowlands for three generations. They have a cemetery here, an Old Believer priest comes to visit on feast days.”
The Olympics strive to promote peace between all nations of the world; however, should individual citizens have to sacrifice their home, ancestry, and traditions for the construction of skating rinks? Surely, there has to be another place in Russia that could host this event, without having to kick 5,000 people out of their homes and kill important flora and fauna of the area.

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