There are a lot of news stories floating around about the Winter Olympics at Sochi this 2014 year. The stories seem to swirl around Islamic Terrorist’s pushing their agenda as ideological exposure at the Winter Olympics. As I grew up, a significant amount of my education was about differences in political ideology and which one country was more afraid of the another, or territorial disputes. Hence the Arms Race between the USSR and the USA, bomb shelters, fail safes, nuclear winters, and so on and so forth.
It wasn’t until the Summer Olympics in Munich in 1972, that I began to see a new basis for threats. The threat of religious extremists harboring an unending lack of reconciling forgiveness.
The Palestinian group Black September bombed the Israeli athlete’s residence, killing two Olympians and taking others hostage. The Black September group demanded a prisoner exchange of 234 incarcerated Palestinians for the Israeli hostages. The kidnappers stayed at the Olympic village with their captives, making demands. The were given two helicopters with pilots and flown to the airport where a jet plane awaited them.
The jet plane, however, was pilotless, snipers open fire on the kidnappers. One of the kidnappers then machine-gunned the second helicopter, killing everyone inside, another of the kidnappers exploded a grenade in the first helicopter, killing the remaining hostages as well as the kidnappers. (there are differing variations on these events, including certain German complicity)
And so it is I think of Sochi, and the original purpose of the Greek games, a time to put political differences aside.
Unfortunate that religious differences can’t also be laid aside.