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February 12th, 2014
The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics have for months leading up to the games been marred by the laws surrounding homosexuality in Russia. With so many members of the LGBT community of Russia living in fear, many athletes and spectators have been concerned about safety during the Olympic Games. The outpouring of support for the Russian LGBT community has been strong and hopefully represents a step towards change in laws.
With all of the political unrest, it’s easy to miss some of the quieter moments of the Olympics. These are the moments that remind us what the Olympic Games are about, which is bringing people from all different backgrounds together to celebrate sports. Here are five moments from the Sochi Games to help restore our faith in the Olympics.
1. Canadian speed skater Gilmore Junio gave up his spot to teammate Denny Morrison, giving Denny a chance to medal at the games after he missed his chance during the qualifying runs. Denny went on to win silver for Canada, a medal he plans on sharing with Gilmore.
2. Married German skaters Maylin and Daniel Wende made sure their coach knew he was missed when they arrived in the kiss and cry at the weekend’s final skate. Also, married skaters always get to me.
3. During the Men’s Sprint Free semifinals, Russian skier Anton Garafov crashed, breaking his ski and seemingly ending his chances of finishing the Olympic race. Canadian coach Justin Wadsworth was near Garafov and ran to the skiers aid, giving him a new ski and allowing the Russian to finish the race on his home turf.
4. The only downside to winning gold is knowing that other people who probably worked just as hard as you and for just as many years don’t get to experience the same joy with their family and country. Thankfully for Slovenia’s Tina Maze and Switzerland’s Dominique Gisin, the two skiers matched one another’s time and got to share in the win.
5. Canadian moguls skier Alexandre Bilodeau took home gold at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and made a repeat move this past weekend, winning the top spot again in Sochi. Another similarity between the two games? Bilodeau crediting his success to his older brother Frederique, who suffers from cerebral palsy. Bilodeau says his big brother is his inspiration to train every day and fans got to see Frederique front and centre at the games when Alexandre lifted his brother over the divider to celebrate just moments after his win.