February 20, 2014 8:15 AM EST

Re “The Sixth Ring” [Feb. 10]: The Winter Olympics in Sochi should be seen as a platform where athletes from widely divergent nations could come and compete with one another irrespective of their gender, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation. It should be seen as an oasis of religious tolerance, cross-cultural understanding and harmonious coexistence among peoples united by respect and teamwork. Russia must embrace the 21st century with a democratic, inclusive and rainbow outlook.
Munjed Farid al-Qutob,
London

Russia deserves commendation for the measures its government is putting in place to ensure the success of the Sochi Games and the safety of Olympic athletes and visitors, not the snide reporting of preparations TIME has given so far. Spread optimism and cheer about Sochi, not pessimism and fears.
Ebere Ogbute,
Lagos, Nigeria

Cases in Point
Re “Tale of Two Champions” [Feb. 10]: China is still not able to get rid of major political and social problems — like corruption, inequality, an authoritarian regime — that result from a lack of democracy. Both tennis star Li Na’s and activist Xu Zhiyong’s cases precisely expose Chinese President Xi Jinping’s reform maneuvers as just tricks.
Song Xiaowen,
Pingzhen City, Taiwan

Hannah Beech is at her game again, using Li’s spectacular triumph in tennis to insinuate human-rights problems in China. Under normal circumstances, winners do not often pay special tribute to their country. Likewise, by not saying thanks to China, Li might have hinted at her dislike of state-controlled sports, but that need not necessarily mean she nurses grudges against her motherland’s autocracy.
Mencius Ding,
Beijing

Power Couple
Re Conversation [Feb. 10]: Sylvaine Poncet writes to complain about the article on the new head of the Federal Reserve: “Because and only because [Janet Yellen] is a woman, we know all about … how lucky she was to have a husband,” etc. I suspect most of your readers will recognize that this information is pertinent not because Yellen is a woman, but because she is a remarkable woman with a remarkable husband — a Nobel Prize winner, in fact.
Peter Rodford,
Pershore, England

Might Over Right
Re “The Twilight War” [Feb. 10]: I was stunned to read the words “when U.S. authorities find a suspected terrorist, they have three options: kill him, leave him in the field or work with the local government to detain him.” It seems human rights are out, and vigilantism in. This is more than sad, it is appalling!
Heidi Klotz,
Berlin

Poignant Portraits
Re Lightbox [Feb. 10]: Looking at those pictures of Afghan children who are refugees in Islamabad, what I saw were not faces of resilience but those of tragedy and gloom that have been the fate of many victims of ghastly conflicts around the world. The international community should take note and respond expeditiously for peace in our time.
Okechukwu Emeh Jr.,
Abuja, Nigeria

Gun Culture
Re “A Troubled Marine’s Final Fight” [Feb. 10]: It seems that every time I read or hear about PTSD in America, it manifests itself in gun violence. Why? Perhaps a clue is in the ninth paragraph of Mark Thompson’s article: In what kind of culture do parents buy their children guns as gifts?
Ron Ziv,
Gesher Haziv, Israel

U.S.-Centric Praise
Re Milestones [Feb. 10]: A characteristic that seems to feature in some write-ups by Americans is how one hero becomes everyone else’s and necessarily the world’s best. To say there is “no one else … in any country, on any continent” as good as Pete Seeger is to raise serious doubts not only about how well traveled you are, Arlo Guthrie, but also how competent you are in the field of art.
Chukwunonso Onyemeh,
Rome

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