The FINA World Masters Championships are being held in Montreal from August 2-9th and there was something that caught my attention while I reviewed the schedule, and could be an indicator that FINA is against Russian aggression in Ukraine. This is not the first time that an international sports governing body has made, or what seems to have been a decision that will not affect the participants in their sport, but does clearly send a message of disapproval of some political events in the world. FINA or the Fédération Internationale de Natation oversees the sports of swimming, open water swimming, synchronized swimming, water-polo and diving.
Some of us can remember the boycott of the Moscow Olympic in 1980 shortly after the Soviet Union sent troops into Afghanistan. In total sixty-five countries did not take part in the Moscow games that summer in protest. The following Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles were boycotted in a kind of knee-jerk reaction to the previous Summer Olympic Games, led by the USSR and their friends, totalling either sixteen or eighteen nations boycotting the Los Angeles Summer Olympic Games in 1984, depending on the source you want to believe.
As a volunteer for this international competition in one of the sports I dedicated a good part of my young adult life to, I decided to explore the schedule. Everything seemed pretty normal. With competition of Synchronized Swimming and Waterpolo beginning as early as tomorrow Sunday July 27th. A few days for swimmers to train and acclimatize before a competition at such a level starts on Sunday August 3, 2014, and with the official Opening Ceremonies taking place on Saturday, August 2, 2014.
As I scrolled down the page what hit me were the words which followed the words
While all sports can be very political, FINA isn't the big money-maker that FIFA though seems to have in this move at least made a minor statement. It is time that the international communities pressure FIFA from taking away the World Cup in Russian in 2018. Please visit http://boycottputinnow.com to put pressure on the World Cup's sponsors and join other such efforts on social media to take away the WC-2018 from the evil empire of pariah Putin.
Whether we can consider this as a vote against Russian aggression in Ukraine can not be certain, but I'm sure many are asking why did it have to take the lives of 298 innocent victims for the world to wake up. I know I will have to treat anyone I meet at this competition fairly, as a volunteer of the organizing committee, but so help me if I meet anyone who watches and believes the blatant propaganda being spewed out by Putin's Propaganda Prostitutes. I may just have to direct them to someone who doesn't know better of what is going on in the world, after politely telling them what I think.
Vasyl Pawlowsky Independent Consultant
The commentary of this was first published on the WPawlowsky.com site.