Bach: not a stage "to score points"

SOCHI, Russia — We all make choices. Those choices hold consequences. A few weeks back, the president of the United States opted in his choice of the White House delegation to the 2014 Winter Games not to include even one senior American political figure but, in an obvious protest of Russia’s law against gay “propaganda,” to send, among others, the tennis legend Billie Jean King. In a blunt address Tuesday night opening the 126th session of the International Olympic Committee, with the president of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, on hand, the new IOC president, Thomas Bach, declared, “People have a very good understanding of what it really means to single out the Olympic Games to make an ostentatious gesture which allegedly costs nothing but produces international headlines.”

IOC president Thomas Bach and Russian president Vladimir Putin Tuesday in Sochi // photo courtesy Russian president's office

He then added, “In the extreme we had to see a few politicians whose contributions to the fight for a good cause consisted of publicly declining invitations they had not even received.”

Obama is, of course, not here. Neither are the presidents of Germany or France.

Then again, the heads of state of state or government of 52 nations are, believed to be a Winter Games record.

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