French President Francois Hollande to boycott Sochi Olympics

Hollande has joined a growing number of top world leaders who have refused to attend the winter Olympics

Published December 16, 2013 1:53PM (EST)

French President Francois Hollande will not be attending the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, according to French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. While no official reason was given for the decision, it is believed Hollande is part of a boycott of the games by top officials in response to the Russian government's crackdown on LGBT rights and other human rights violations.

As CNN reports, Fabius announced Sunday that Hollande would not be in attendance at the games. "This [has] not been planned ... to attend," he said. "But at the same time I wish all the success for these games. But for now, it is not expected that the highest French authorities attend."

The news comes less than a week after German President Joachim Gauck said he would not be attending the Sochi games. European Union Commissioner Viviane Reding has also refused to attend.



By Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at

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2014 Sochi Olympics Gay Rights Lgbt Rights Vladimir Putin