NBC Edited Out IOC Anti-Discrimination Remarks from Opening Ceremony Broadcast


Deadspin reports that NBC edited out a significant portion of IOC President Thomas Bach's opening ceremony remarks when it broadcast them last night.

The remarks that were edited condemned discrimination:

Now you are living in an Olympic Region. I am sure you will enjoy the benefits for many, many years to come. Thousands of volunteers have welcomed us with the well-known warm Russian hospitality. Many thanks to all the wonderful volunteers. Bolshoi spasiba, valantyoram! Thank you very much to everyone. Russia and the Russians have set the stage for you, the best winter athletes on our planet. From this moment on you are not only the best athletes, you are Olympic Athletes. You will inspire us with your outstanding sports performances. You have come here for sports. You have come here with your Olympic dream. The International Olympic Committee wants your Olympic Dream to come true. This is why we are investing almost all of our revenues in the development of sports. The universal Olympic rules apply to each and every athlete- no matter where you come from or what your background is. You are living together in the Olympic Village. You will celebrate victory with dignity and accept defeat with dignity. You are bringing the Olympic Values to life. In this way, the Olympic Games, wherever they take place, set an example for a peaceful society. Olympic Sport unites people. This is the Olympic Message the athletes spread to the host country and to the whole world. Yes, it is possible to strive even for the greatest victory with respect for the dignity of your competitors. Yes, Yes, it is possible – even as competitors – to live together under one roof in harmony, with tolerance and without any form of discrimination for whatever reason. Yes, it is possible – even as competitors – to listen, to understand and to give an example for a peaceful society.

Deadspin has video and a full transcript, if you'd like to take a look.

It's worth noting that Bach's remarks that were broadcast did mention diversity, tolerance, and peace.

Not that Russia or the IOC is paying ANY attention to those precepts.


  1. Rick Smith says

    I would not necessarily call this editing, I would call it censoring and ask the question, WHY? The IOC has backed Russia the entire time during the many controversies so why make a conscious effort to censor him now when he is basically admonishing Russia? NBC fail!

  2. Brian in Texas says

    He was most likely edited down because his part is the most boring of the opening ceremony for the general viewer. The broadcast was already three and a half hours long.

  3. MrRoboto says

    I heard him offering President Obama a veiled scolding for sending gay athletes to represent the US in protest of Russia’s anti-gay laws: “Please understand what our responsibilities are and what your responsibilities are,” Bach said. “Have the courage to address your disagreements in a peaceful, direct political dialogue and not on the backs of the athletes. 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.”

  4. northalabama says

    who cares what propaganda lines were delivered during an olympic speech? all i’m concerned with are actions and behavior of the ioc, not their empty words – they’ve proven time and again they mean nothing.

  5. Graphicjack says

    The IOC are crooked and all of that is lip service anyway. They have a charter that sounds all touchy feelie, but they don’t even remotely uphold it. #SuckItSochi #SochiFail

  6. TreeFalling says

    If the anti-discrimination remarks were edited out, in this instance I’m not going to bother reading them here. I’m not interested in empty gestures; or gestures that are censored for everyone but gays…

    If someone says something supportive (makes a sound) about group X, and nobody hears it, was there really a sound?

  7. Bill says

    It wouldn’t surprise me if some TV stations edited it out – what is really important to them are those obnoxious ads they run as often as possible.

    And in that respect, the U.S. is among the worst – our national motto should be “Ads R us” instead of “In God we trust.”

  8. Book says

    Yes, this is a sporting event, but this is a historic event as well, and should be covered as news in an unbiased fashion, unedited. No whitewashing! You know they are prepared to show any horrible accidents that happen on the slopes, you know they’d milk that to death with endless commentary. Why aren’t they addressing the actual human tragedy happening around them BECAUSE of the these very games? When/if a terrorist strike occurs NBC will be all over it with custom graphics 24/7; if gay protesters are killed after their beatings and arrests, I expect they’ll suddenly take an interest in being a news outlet.

  9. Art Weiss says

    I don’t know where this disinformation is coming from. I watched the network broadcast in the Eastern time zone, and not only was the sentence about discrimination included, the camera cut away briefly to Putin making a sour face. Since the Eastern and Central time zone feeds are broadcast simultaneously (an “hour earlier” for CST), the vast majority of the U.S. population saw the same thing I did. And there is no way a local station can censor a “live on tape” transmission that is coming at them unpre-screened in real time.

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