U.S. public skeptical of decision to hold Olympics in Russia

McClatchy Washington BureauFebruary 4, 2014 

The decision to hold the Winter Olympics in Russia isn't popular with the American public, a new poll shows.

More -- 44 percent-- say it was a "bad decision," compared to the 32 percent who say it was a "good decision." Another 24 percent told the pollsters with the Pew Research Center that they didn't know.

Concerns about terrorism and safety are foremost among those who think it was a bad decision to hold the Olympics in Russia. In an open-ended question, 62 percent of those who say it was a bad decision to hold the Winter Olympics in Russia mentioned terrorism or general security in Sochi. Far fewer -- just 5 percent -- mentioned the Russian government or Russian President Vladimir Putin as reasons why it was a bad decision to hold the games. Just 4 percent cited Russia’s treatment of gays and lesbians as a reason it was a bad choice.

But the survey, conducted Jan. 30 to Feb. 2 among 1,003 adults, finds a generational gap: Among adults ages 18-29, about twice as many say it was a “good decision” as a “bad decision” to hold the Winter Olympics in Russia – 49 percent vs. 25 percent. By contrast, a 55 percent majority of adults 50 and older say it was a bad decision, compared with 24 percent saying it was a good decision.

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