February 8, 2014

Why we are watching the winter olympics

Twitter seemed quite divided yesterday about whether we should live tweet and enjoy the Olympic opening ceremony, or whether we should muster up our principles and boycott the whole thing. At Casa Uborka we had a little friend over for a playdate, and I made the decision to watch it. And oh my goodness, ALL the questions. I found myself explaining ballet, explaining the Russian Revolution, explaining the cyrillic alphabet, and for a parent with a stinking cold, the whole thing was quite exhausting.

But also brilliant, and that was the whole reason why I chose to watch instead of boycott. Historically, the Olympics have also been about celebrating cultural achievement as well as feats of sporting excellence, and both of these are things I am happy for Bernard to take an interest in.

Meanwhile, I wanted to cover all the bases, so this morning I talked to him about the ethical issues. Talking ethics with a seven year old can be very much like banging one’s head against a wall, but it is important to keep doing it. So I explained about how gays and lesbians are persecuted in Russia. Then I explained (again) the spectrum of sexuality, which has to be done in terms of relationships more than actual sex, which doesn’t mean much to him, with examples from people he knows.

Bernard thought for a while and then came up with a solution, which he calls the “Olympic War.” Not with fighting and stuff, he said, but with doing sports and winning medals. And whichever side wins the Olympics, they get to choose the rules.

So let’s hope for not too many Russian medals.

Karen

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