Tune in at 16:00 London, 19:00 UAE

Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Ex- IOC official: Judge Sochi later

February 6th, 2014
03:39 PM ET

Issues of politicization and questions of preparation are a staple of any Olympic Games, but in the end they'll be "defined by the seventeen days of sports performance". That's what Michael Payne, former marketing director of the IOC, told Becky when she spoke to him live from Sochi.

"There's always an awful lot of background chatter in the lead-up to the games. What we're seeing here from the IOC standpoint is frankly nothing new."

Answering the question of whether facilities would be ready on time, Payne stated that "Even before Lillehammer, probably the most successful Winter Games ever, the week before was not a pretty picture... Certainly the feedback you're also getting from the athletes who are coming into town is seeing facilities like they've never seen before, very positive feedback from the athletes' village. The media/TV facilities and press center is also getting very high reports."

Becky also asked Payne about the activists who are calling for boycotts over Russia's anti-gay laws. "The politicization of the Games has been there for the last century. I think President Bach has been very clear in the IOC leadership about the IOC's values and that all athletes, no matter what gender, what sex, what position are welcome, and they've received all the assurances and everything from President Putin. But I mean it amuses me, this gay debate. You go back to the Games in Atlanta – two years before the Games in Atlanta when they had the Volleyball Cobb County there was far more draconian proposals coming from the local community, anti-gay, and a whole boycott of sponsor products back then, so it's not exactly a new issue."


Filed under:  Activism • Becky's Interviews • Olympics • Russia • Sochi • Sport
soundoff (No Responses)

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.