Radio personality Jian Ghomeshi is taking his popular radio show Q on the road to Sochi as key plank in CBC's Winter Olympic broadcast schedule.
Ghomeshi says he is eager for the challenge. The Sochi Games have become one of the most scrutinized Olympics in recent history. Security concerns among athletes and visitors even exceed the terror fears in the post-9/11 run up to the 2004 Summer Games in Athens. The huge bill for the Games, believed to be in excess of $50-billion USD, restrictions placed on the media and even the balmy weather conditions are raising questions about whether the Games will succeed.
However, no issue has been more divisive or more discussed than Russia's draconian anti-LGBT legislation. Russian President Vladimir Putin has been trying to downplay criticism about the laws, assuring that visitors will not face persecution while in the country. Some have called for a boycott, while others hope athletes will make statements during the Games.
Ghomeshi sees this as a defining issue of the Games, and one that he will not avoid.
"This repressive law, which is counter to our laws in Canada, particularly around LGBT issues in Russia is getting way more attention because the Olympic Games are happening there than it ever would if the Olympic Games were somewhere else," said Ghomeshi. "Q doesn't necessarily have any kind of political mandate, but we do consider it a progressive show that addresses issues head on, and we are not going to shy away from that."
Ghomeshi added that CBC officials have "read him the riot act" about how his social media use will be scrutinized by security officials.
"So I am ready for that, but there's no backing off."
Watch the full interview above.
Also on HuffPost