The Olympics is supposed to be a time when all nations put aside their differences and participate in a friendly competition together. It is the Olympic ideal. Unfortunately, many, including Obama and some other leaders apparently see the Olympics as another political battleground, and thus refused to attend due to a Russian law they disagree with. It is especially ironic since Obama ran on engaging America's rivals as opposed to confrontation.
I do feel that President Barack Obama should have gone to some events, or at least the opening ceremonies, for the Olympics. From what I have read, some leaders chose not to go, and it may have been based on the government's stance on gay rights. In my opinion, being there is about supporting the nation's athletes and nothing else, so this is a slight more against American athletes than against the Russian policy.
Olympics is has alwAys been a grand event. Presidents should go there if only just to be respectful to the country which holds this event ( because it's a lot of work) and also to be respectful to sports itself.
Plus, president should have his right to decide if he wants to go or not. Even if he is the president, he still has his right to choose. It is not like Obama is so busy that he can not take several days off for a vacation.
The Sochi Winter Olympics haven't been going well with horrible hotels and less-than-stellar areas for fans to visit. The president of the United States shouldn't have to pander to Vladimir Putin's quasi-democratic regime that has mired itself in controversy over gay rights. Obama has more pressing domestic matters to take care of like the looming debt ceiling negotiations.
I believe it would be a nice gesture for the President to attend the Olympics, however, I believe at this time it is more vital for the nation that he remain working. The government has another debt ceiling that it is up against and I believe the President should remain in Washington at this time.
I do not believe that Obama was required to attend the opening of the Sochi games. He hasn't attended a variety of olympic games in the past (such as Vancouver) and I don't see how this one should have been any different. Whether or not he was sending a message regarding Russia's climate of open human rights violations towards its LGBT citizens is another matter, but nevertheless I don't think any less of Obama simply because he didn't attend the olympics.