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US Olympic Committee against idea of boycotting Sochi Olympics due to Snowden issue

July 18, 2013, 9:57 UTC+3
“If there are any lessons to be learned from the American boycott of 1980, it is that Olympic boycotts do not work,” says a statement by USOC
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Photo ITAR-TASS

Photo ITAR-TASS

NEW YORK, July 18 (Itar-Tass) - The US Olympic Committee (USOC) has come out against the idea of boycotting the Sochi Winter Olympic Games in connection with the situation around NSA leaker Edward Snowden that has been put forward by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.

“If there are any lessons to be learned from the American boycott of 1980, it is that Olympic boycotts do not work,” says a statement by USOC spokesperson Patrick Sandusky released here.

According to him, “Our boycott of the 1980 Olympic Games did not contribute to a successful resolution of the underlying conflict. It did, however, deprive hundreds of American athletes, all whom had completely dedicated themselves to representing our nation at the Olympic Games, of the opportunity of a lifetime. It also deprived millions of Americans of the opportunity to take pride in the achievements of our athletes, and in their dedication and commitment, at a time when we needed it most.”

“While we acknowledge the seriousness of the issues at hand, we strongly oppose the notion that a boycott of the Olympic and Paralympic Games is in our country’s best interests,” Sandusky stated.

Speaker of the US House of Representatives John Boehner earlier rejected the Sochi Olympics boycott over Snowden. Boehner said Graham was “dead wrong.” The White House so far has not commented on Graham’s initiative.

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