I wasn’t going to do any Olympic knitting this year. I love the Olympics (Canadians, in general, really love the Olympics, or at least love watching), but this year I found the political back-drop so deeply troubling I thought about not watching at all.
This isn’t a political space, so I’m not going to get into it, but suffice it to say that same-sex marriage has been legal in Canada for my entire adult life, and I while I know that isn’t the case in most other countries, I find Russia’s anti-LGBTQ laws deeply troubling. Certainly, this is not the first Olympics to take place in a country with a sketchy human rights track record, but I think Sochi is different for a few reasons: one is that the images of the oppression and crackdown are widespread and disturbing and targeted at love, and certainly another one is that we see Russia as western and developed, and so we expect more from it than a country we perceive as developing. There are a lot of other reasons, but I think those are two big ones.
Anyway (I did get into it) I didn’t really watch the opening ceremonies on Friday, but then on Saturday two Canadian sisters won gold and silver in the women’s moguls and I lost my resolve. I love watching countries come together in what is, generally, friendly competition, full of respect for the accomplishments of their competitors and pride in their own achievements. Watching people do amazing things is exciting, and I’m just as happy to watch Canadian sisters win as to see a Swiss man come back from injury to win the men’s 30km skiathalon in a a crazy sprint. It’s wonderful, and I think I/we can celebrate the athletes without celebrating the politics of the country that is hosting them.
All of which is to say I’m knitting rainbow socks. I cast on yesterday, they may not get finished during the Games (I have some mittens on the needles too), but that’s fine. I dug around in my stash and came up with the Three Irish Girls colourway Love Wins, released after the tragedy in Newtown. It’s perfect.