Distorted Russian History: 2014 Winter Olympics

2014 Winter Olympics

Wow, I cannot believe the Olympics are here again! My wife got me interested in the 2012 Olympics held in London, so I was excited about these winter games. Of course, there always seems to be some controversy or some sort of political activism. But that is not what astonished me about these Olympic games. I found the opening ceremonies quite interesting,

The Russians put on an expensive show for these games (Putin ought to have invested that $51 billion dollars into his people). There was a hiccup or two during the ceremony; the fifth Olympic ring not opening and some performers goofing up on the flag raising. The theatrical portrayal of the country’s history was what I was anxious to see. The colors were quite stunning during this part of the show, and the projections were very high-tech. Finally, the moment I was waiting for, how Russia (Putin) portrayed the 75 years of corruption, insanity, and oppression of the Communism Party. Well, Comrade Putin, you may have fooled yourself and your people but not the rest of the world.

Russian Revolution Portrayal

About the only part that Russia (Putin) nailed was the red part! My reaction was that it was glorification and justification of Soviet dominance. I think they would have been better off rolling out a giant statue of Stalin that trampled innocent Russians and other Eastern Europeans. I was thoroughly confused when they showed Russians dancing, being happy, and reading books during this Communist era. Maybe I need to brush up on my Soviet history, but I never remember people fleeing from the West to the USSR for their freedom and rich culture.  I liked how this Time Entertainment blogger, James Poniewozik, summed up this portion of the show:

…its version of Russian history, especially in the 20th century, was so smoothed over you could skate on it. While the visually stunning pastiche of Russian history represented the 1917 revolution–a red locomotive amid constructivist art–it skipped over the bloody excesses of Stalinist Russia in favor of a bit of World War II and a whole lot of Soviet ’50s teenyboppers.

Maybe being from the West I am bias, but I think even the citizens of the former USSR would also scratch their heads at this. This colorful, and even fun at times, history that was displayed would make victims of Communism turn in their graves. Comrade Putin did an excellent job of falsifying the history of his county; would you expect anything less from a former KGB agent?

What was your reaction of the opening ceremonies?

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