LGBTI global news 24-7

First gay athlete wins medal at Sochi Olympics

Austria’s Daniela Iraschko-Stolz says she hopes to create positive conversation surrounding the outrage over the Russia Winter Olympics
Daniela Iraschko-Stolz has become the first gay athlete to medal at the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Austria’s Daniela Iraschko-Stolz became the first openly gay athlete to medal at Russia’s Winter Games yesterday (11 February).

She came second in the first ever women’s ski jump competition at the Olympics.

Iraschko-Stolz actually jumped the furthest in the final, flying through their air on her second jump for 104.5m (343 feet).

But the gold was awarded to German Carina Vogt after the Austrian’s points score was calculated to accommodate an advantage she had in wind speed.

Iraschko-Stolz’ win follows Ireen Wüst, an openly bisexual Dutch speedskater’s gold medal victory.

This means two of the seven competing LGBTI athletes at Sochi Winter Olympics have reached the podium.

Last week, Iraschko-Stolz said reaction to the gay propaganda law had been exaggerated.

‘I had a very good welcome like every other athlete,’ she said, adding she wanted to focus on her sport.

‘The question was, “Would I make a protest?'” Iraschko-Stolz said, according to the Associated Press.

‘And I said, “Nobody cares if I make a protest or if I don't jump here, because I'm not the most important person in the world. Nobody cares if I jump.” This was my statement.’

The backlash against her comments last week left the married gay woman ‘shocked’.

‘I would never say that. I fight a lot in my life, for my sport and for my love.’

Now she is a silver medal winner, Iraschko-Stolz said she hoped her event could help add a positive note to the discussion surrounding the Sochi Olympics.

‘When you are in the media, many people maybe knew my name and also knew that I am married with a woman,’ she said. ‘And now the Olympic Games are here in Russia and they will end here in Russia.

‘I hope for the future that the people now can see the sport as a chance to change something. That would be nice. Because everyone looks at Russia and its laws, and I think it's a good idea to change something.’

Comment on a news story