SOCHI SCENE: Keeping the focus

SOCHI SCENE: Keeping the focus

Published Feb. 20, 2014 5:06 a.m. ET

SOCHI, Russia (AP) A video of the punk band Pussy Riot being assaulted by Russian authorities under a sign that reads ''Sochi 2014'' is garnering worldwide attention. A Ukrainian skier has pulled out of the Olympics as a political statement against the violence in Kiev. A gay activist drew headlines earlier in the week after being led away from Olympic Park.

As the final weekend of the Winter Olympics approaches, political issues are trickling into the daily happenings in and around Sochi. The International Olympic Committee takes great pains to try to keep the competition free of any discussions or story lines that would take the focus off games themselves.

IOC spokesman Mark Adams says he doesn't think the events of this week are overshadowing the athletes in competition.

''I think if you spoke to most people they would be rightly concentrating on the sport, which is what the Olympics is about,'' Adams says. ''Those events, as I say, people are well within their rights to demonstrate anywhere in the world about anything they want to.''


''What we ask is that the games themselves are not used as a platform for demonstration. The games are a great show of how different people from different backgrounds can move together in harmony and we want to try to preserve that.''

- By Jon Krawczynski - Twitter


Associated Press reporters are filing dispatches about happenings in and around Sochi during the 2014 Winter Games. Follow AP journalists covering the Olympics on Twitter: