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1984 Olympics in Los Angeles
1984 Olympics in Los Angeles

The 1984 Olympics were held in Los Angeles. The Soviet Union boycotted the games that year.

Aleksei Khomiakov (1804-1860)
Aleksei Khomiakov (1804-1860)

Aleksei Khomiakov, leading Slavophile thinker

Billie Jean King, U.S. representative at Sochi Olympics
Billie Jean King, U.S. representative at Sochi Olympics

President Obama appointed Billie Jean King as one of two official U.S. representatives to attend the Sochi Olympics. The President did not attend the games. 

Boris Nemtsov, a leader of Russia’s political opposition
Boris Nemtsov, a leader of Russia’s political opposition

Boris Nemtsov has highlighted the amount of money spent to host the Olympic games and claims that much of it has been embezzled.

Boris Yeltsin
Boris Yeltsin

Boris Yeltsin, here shown in 1993, helped to decriminalize homosexuality in Russia.

Christian anti-gay protestors in San Francisco in 2006
Christian anti-gay protestors in San Francisco in 2006

Christian anti-gay protestors in San Francisco in 2006. Wider acceptance of gay rights has been a recent phenomenon in the United States.

Islamic militant Doku Umarov
Islamic militant Doku Umarov

Security issues became a major concern prior to and during the Sochi Olympics. The Islamic militant Doku Umarov has called for mujahedin to attack the Sochi Olympics.

Ivan Kireevskii (1806-1856)
Ivan Kireevskii (1806-1856)

Ivan Kireevskii, the most important figure of the Slavophiles, argued that Russia had been fortunate to escape falling under the rule or influence of the Roman Empire. As a result, he argued, Russia was not contaminated by Roman ideas of rationality and individualism.

Jesse Owens in 1936
Jesse Owens in 1936

Politics have always been a part of the Olympics. Here, Jesse Owens stands defiant on the podium at the 1936 Olympics in Nazi-era Berlin.

Mattachine Review, 1959
Mattachine Review, 1959

The Mattachine Society was an early gay-rights organization in the United States, founded in 1950.

Opening Ceremony at Salt Lake City in 2002
Opening Ceremony at Salt Lake City in 2002

Homosexual acts were still technically illegal in Salt Lake City during the 2002 Olympic games. 

Opening Ceremony in Sochi
Opening Ceremony in Sochi

The opening ceremony at the Sochi Olympics, 2014

Pavel Astakhov
Pavel Astakhov

Pavel Astakhov (politician, TV personality, and Children's Rights Commissioner for the President of the Russian Federation) has justified the restriction on international adoption in part by pointing to Russia’s demographic problems.

Rainbow Flash Mob in Saint Petersburg, 2009
Rainbow Flash Mob in Saint Petersburg, 2009

In this uplifting image, pro-LGBT activists conducted a "rainbow flash mob" action in Saint Petersburg on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia in 2009.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak publicly linked homosexuality and pedophilia just prior to the Olympics.

Street in front of Russian Embassy in Helsinki
Street in front of Russian Embassy in Helsinki

Pro-LGBT activists painted a street crosswalk in front of the Russian Embassy in Helsinki, Finland. Protests of a similar type have also occurred in Sweden.

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

Lenin helped decriminalize homosexuality entirely after the Bolshevik revolution.

Vladimir Putin and Ramzan Kadyrov
Vladimir Putin and Ramzan Kadyrov

In this picture from 2008, the pro-Moscow Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov meets with President Vladimir Putin.

Volgograd railway bombing
Volgograd railway bombing

Security became a central concern in the run-up to the Sochi Olympics. This is the site of the December 29, 2013, railway suicide bombing in Volgograd, roughly 600 miles northeast of Sochi.

Volgograd trolleybus
Volgograd trolleybus

A second suicide bombing occurred on December 30, 2013, in Volgograd. In the second attack, the bomber destroyed a trolleybus, killing 16 people and injuring 41.