Athlete quotes on Russia's anti-gay laws

Updated: August 22, 2013, 2:56 PM ET
Associated Press

Based on Associated Press phone interviews, selected suggestions from Olympic athletes and a sport official regarding Russia's anti-gay laws and the constraints they pose:


"It would be wonderful if all the athletes stayed in the village and had their own celebration. ... Send one person in to carry the flag. I have a feeling that the IOC may pressure them into attending but, you know, hey, flu viruses go through Olympic villages like wildfires, so everybody can get sick, have a sick day, you know? I'd love to see that." -- US diving great Greg Louganis suggesting Olympians could shun opening and closing ceremonies at the Sochi Winter Games.


"What if every sympathetic athlete were to dedicate their performance to their gay aunts or uncles? That's something that's very personal. That's not making a political statement. It's just honoring those LGBT people." -- Louganis, suggesting how Olympians could support gay rights in Russia without violating Olympic rules.


"Where do we draw the line on how political we should let our athletes be? Obviously, as a person, I support her doing the rainbow statement in a country where the laws are -- yeah -- could be regarded as strange. But as a federation, we have the opinion that the field of play or the athletics track should be free of political statements, even though we can support the political statements in themselves." -- Anders Albertsson, general secretary, Swedish Athletics, explaining why high jumper Emma Green Tregaro was asked to repaint her rainbow-colored fingernails at the recent world championships in Moscow.


"I couldn't imagine that it would be news all over the world for my nail polish. ... It was not a big protest against the Russian laws. For me, it was just showing I don't agree with them." -- Green Tregaro.


"I couldn't imagine how big and how much it would mean to people. So I'm so glad that I did it. ... Of course I've got some ugly messages, too, and that makes it even more worth it, of course" -- Green Tregaro.


"My sexuality is gay and being gay is not propaganda and I can't change my sexuality and I'm not going, I guess, to change that during the Olympic Games. `' -- Blake Skjellerup, New Zealand speed skater.


"My sexuality isn't the be-all or end-all of who I am. However, given the situation in Russia, I think it's important to highlight that and to be proud of that" -- Skjellerup, explaining that he plans to wear a rainbow pin in Sochi.

Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index



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