Gay athlete urges for no boycott of Russia Winter Olympics

Figure skater and reality TV star Johnny Weir says there is not a government on Earth that could stop him from competing at the Olympic Games

Gay athlete urges for no boycott of Russia Winter Olympics
26 July 2013

Gay athlete Johnny Weir has spoken out urging people to not boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics due to be held in Sochi, Russia.

The 29-year-old figure skater said the Olympics are ‘not a political statement’ and therefore should allow young sportspeople to shine.

He said he could understand the sacrifices families make to allow athletes to compete in the worldwide sporting event, referencing when his family sold their car to be sure they could watch him compete at his first Olympics.

‘The fact that Russia is arresting my people, and openly hating a minority and violating Human Rights all over the place is heartbreaking and a travesty of international proportions, but I still will compete,’ he said.

‘There isn’t a police officer or a government that, should I qualify, could keep me from competing at the Olympics.

‘I respect the LGBT community full heartedly, but I implore the world not to boycott the Olympic Games because of Russia’s stance on LGBT rights or lack thereof.

Weir added: ‘I beg the gay athletes not to forget their missions and fight for a chance to dazzle the world. I pray that people will believe in the Olympic movement no matter where the event is being held, because the Olympics are history, and they do not represent their host, they represent the world entire.

‘People make their own futures, and should a government or sponsor steal that future, whether it be the Russian government or American government, it is, as an athlete, the death and total demolition of a lifetime of work. Support the athletes.’

Weir also noted the only time the US and other countries boycotted was the 1980 Summer Olympics held in Moscow intended to protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. He said the only people it hurt were the athletes forced to watch at home.

Like Weir, another gay athlete is going to risk arrest and deportation at the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Blake Skjellerup, a New Zealand speed skater, will be wearing a rainbow pin to show solidarity with the maligned LGBT community in Russia.



No thumbnail available

Philippines brand responds to controversy over blacked-out gay ad

Rumors of censorship and vandalism spark social media campaign
No thumbnail available

LGBT human rights defenders fire bombed and burgled in Cameroon

Groups advocating for the human rights of LGBT people have suffered a spate of attacks in Cameroon with one office torched and computers and files stolen from others
No thumbnail available

Fifth Bangalore Queer Film Festival happy to be experimental

Bangalore Queer Film Festival opens today and will show 55 films from 20 countries before Sunday
No thumbnail available

Ghana Christian group slams pro-gay gender minister

Anti-gay Christian group blasts appointment of Nana Oye Lister as Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection over gay rights support
No thumbnail available

Two bikers, a Volvo and a dog head off on a 200 mile cycle to raise AIDS cash

Jeremy Joseph of G-A-Y and Chris Jepson will be accompanied on their 200-mile ride from London to Manchester by Gay Star News driving the support car
No thumbnail available

Art heist: Eight pieces stolen at gay event in London

Two artists have been left 'devastated' after work valued at £6000 was stolen by three men who posed as volunteers
No thumbnail available

Gay playwright Tony Kushner to receive National Medal of Arts at The White House

Works include Angels in America and Oscar-nominated screenplay for Lincoln
No thumbnail available

New study shows Chinese tolerance for homosexuality over thousands of years

A new study by a Chinese sociologist has documented tolerance of homosexuality and same-sex relationships going back thousands of years in China
No thumbnail available

Robert De Niro talks tearfully about the tortured life of his gay artist father

'I realize now that it was hard for him. He had a lot of classic conflicts about all of that'
No thumbnail available

'Gays don't have a purpose' says special-ed teacher

Speaking in favor of an anti-gay prom in Indiana, a special education teacher adds fuel to the fire with homophobic comments