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Content about Olympic Games

July 23, 2014

Athletes will be asked if their sexuality causes problems before specialists are brought in to help them

British gay athletes are to get extra help to overcome the problems they face and win gold at the Olympics and other top contests.

It will start with top-level athletes meeting with LGBTI sports experts to find out if discrimination or keeping their sexuality secret is holding them back.

Then specialists will be brought in to solve the problems they face so they get picked to represent their country and perform their best.

April 16, 2014

Dozens of people were arrested under the gay propaganda law in Sochi, and activists are hoping this never happens again

Over 100,000 people have called on the IOC to ensure the Olympics are never hosted in an anti-gay country again.

While the International Olympic Committee has hinted the rules could be changed in the future, activists are hoping any homophobic countries will be stopped from reaping the rewards of hosting the Games.

The last Olympics in Sochi, Russia, drew a huge amount of international criticism. Dozens of people were arrested under the ‘gay propaganda’ law.

March 7, 2014

From boxing to poker, these lesbian, bisexual and transgender women are making a name for themselves not only as out athletes but by dominating in their sport

To celebrate International Women’s Day tomorrow (8 March) we are going to take a moment to appreciate the achievements of seven incredible LGBTI sportswomen.

From Hollywood to the Olympics, a public figure’s sexuality has made headlines and broken careers. Arguably the 21st century has seen some progress, but there is certainly a long way to go.

We look at seven athletes who in one fell swoop are blazing trails both for women in sport and LGBTI athletes.

February 28, 2014

LGTBI activist Sarah Gibson explains why the International Olympic Committee must reconsider its views on transgender and intersex athletes

Much to the dismay of Russia, the Sochi games will not be remembered for its extravagant spending but for the opposition to Russia’s continuing human rights abuses against LGBTI people. 

In the run up to the games, principle 6 of the Olympic Charter has been widely quoted.

It reads: 'Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement'.

February 23, 2014

'In the [bid] process it would be helpful. I would like to see it but I also understand it's not that easy'

On the last day of the Sochi Winter Games, tennis legend Billie Jean King hopes the International Olympic Committee changes its charter to specifically declare anti-gay discrimination is prohibited.

'Hopefully [IOC president] Mr [Thomas] Bach and the IOC will think about the next time they give a bid out - I hope that they'll look at discrimination as a big part of it,' she said to the BBC.

'But no country is perfect. America certainly isn't,' King continued. 

February 21, 2014

Out athletes say that when they come out, they become better at their sport after conquering challenges and pressures

If the openly LGBT athletes were a team at Sochi, they would have more medals than Team GB.

With just seven openly gay Olympians competing in the Games, and all women, they proved to be victorious.

Ireen Wüst was the biggest medal-winner of the seven athletes, winning one gold and three silvers. She still has to compete in the Ladies’ Team Pursuit on Friday (21 February).

Daniela Iraschko-Stolz, the Austrian ski jumper, won silver in the normal hill individual.

February 19, 2014

Althete who caused controversy when she got a cuddle from Putin takes home silver in the women's 5,000 meters

Dutch bisexual athlete Ireen Wüst has won her fourth medal of the Sochi Olympic Games.

The Netherlands speedskater took home silver in the women’s 5000 meters today (19 February).

This means she will be one of the most awarded athletes in this year’s Olympics, a Games overshadowed by the homophobic legislation of Russia.

Wüst was expected to take the top spot of the 5,000 meters after she set an impressive time of 6 minutes, 54.28 seconds.

February 19, 2014

Star Trek icon tells GSN: “This Olympics is really a chilling thing because it reminds me of the 1936 Olympics when the Olympics Committee provided an international platform for Adolf Hitler'

George Takei has been watching some of the Olympics in Sochi even though he strongly believes they never should have been allowed to be held in a country with an anti-gay propaganda law in place.

The openly gay Star Trek icon tells Gay Star News that he considers the International Olympic Committee 'spineless' for not moving the games after it was clear that 'Russia breaks the pledge to the Olympic creed of no discrimination.'

February 19, 2014

Video shows members of performance art group being attacked in public plaza

Video of members of the performance art group Pussy Riot being attacked with horsewhips by Cossack militia emerged Wednesday and is quickly causing outrage.

The pro-gay, anti-Putin group was trying to perform in Sochi, Russia, under a sign advertising the Winter Olympics.

As they pulled out a guitar and microphone,  at least 10 Cossacks and other security officials moved in.

The women chanted in Russian: 'Putin will teach you to love the Motherland,' the name of the song for which they had arrived in Sochi to make a new protest video.

February 18, 2014

IOC spokesman says countries who do not abide by an anti-discrimination rule could factor in decisions on the bidding process

Russia, and other countries with homophobic laws, could be banned from hosting the Olympics under a proposed new rule.

The International Olympics Committee has responded to calls that countries must abide by a specific anti-discrimination decree modelled on the Olympic Charter’s Principle 6.

Principle 6 says sport does not discriminate on any grounds, including race, religion, politics or gender.

February 18, 2014

IOC spokesman says countries who do not abide by an anti-discrimination rule could factor in decisions on the bidding process

Russia, and other countries with homophobic laws, could be banned from hosting the Olympics under a proposed new rule.

The International Olympics Committee has responded to calls that countries must abide by a specific anti-discrimination decree modelled on the Olympic Charter’s Principle 6.

Principle 6 says sport does not discriminate on any grounds, including race, religion, politics or gender.

February 12, 2014

Austria’s Daniela Iraschko-Stolz says she hopes to create positive conversation surrounding the outrage over the Russia 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.

February 10, 2014

Gay anthem YMCA was played at a Sochi Winter Games speed skating event after a spectator requested it

The Village People’s disco hit YMCA was played during a speed skating event at the Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia on Saturday in a surprise move.

The song, long considered an anthem by gay men all over the world, was requested by a spectator during a break in the competition when the event's presenters put out a call for requests.

The crowd reportedly danced and bopped to the song which is one of 4,600 approved songs that have been chosen by the Sochi Winter Olympics organizing committee as acceptable to be played at events during the games.

February 9, 2014

Despite arrests, reported beatings and threats of sexual violence against activists who were detained, the IOC says nothing except that Russia was acting in accordance with its laws

Since the start of the Sochi Olympic Games on Friday, some 61 activists – 24 of them for staging pro-gay demonstrations – have been arrested across Russia. Some of those held in Moscow have reported being beaten while in police custody.

February 8, 2014

A Sochi 2014 clip inspired by Facebook’s anniversary videos shows what LGBTI people in Russia have suffered

Facebook users have recently been enjoying their ‘look back’ videos.

Nostalgic clips that show their best moments and favorite photos to celebrate ten years of the social media site.

However, a version focusing on Sochi 2014 is the total opposite.

Instead of smiling photos and funny statuses, this video looks at the bloodied faces of gay rights protestors and the homophobic comments from Russian leaders.

February 8, 2014

Since the Winter Olympics began, Russian police have arrested 61 people for speaking out against the Olympics

61 people have been arrested by the Russian police for speaking out against the Olympics so far.

The New York Times reports that of the 61 arrests, 23 of them were gay rights protestors.

The first of these arrests came yesterday (7 February) when four protesters, one of whom was a pregnant woman, gathered in St. Petersburg to protest the anti-gay laws currently in place in Russia.

They held a flag quoting Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter, which says any form of discrimination is contrary to the ideals of the Olympics.

February 7, 2014

The London Gay Men's Chorus sang for three hours outside Russian Embassy in London

The London Gay Men’s Chorus sang for equality today while the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics kicked off in Sochi.

With talk of the Olympics having been overshadowed by Russia’s LGBTI laws, the chorus decided to take a stand.

Steven McIntyre, one of the group’s trustees and the organiser of the protest, said: 'What we wanted to do was say, "look, we understand that the Olympics bring people together, but this Olympics is excluding people, and that’s not okay".'

February 7, 2014

Read the amazing speech from the ‘gay Olympic opening ceremony’ condemning Russian hate and the IOC

An alternative Olympic ceremony has seen a Rainbow Flame lit in Berlin to be tended day and night throughout the games, as a symbol of hope for LGBTI rights in Russia.

Here is an exclusive translation of the speech made by Alfonso Pantisano at the lighting ceremony:

Dear friends, welcome to Potsdamer Platz in Berlin.

February 7, 2014

Four gay rights activists, including one pregnant woman, have reportedly been arrested in St Petersburg

Russia has made the first arrests of the Sochi Olympic Winter Games.

Four gay rights activists, including one pregnant woman, were arrested in St Petersburg today.

LGBTI advocate Anastasia Smirnova led the group holding a banner, according to the Russian LGBT network.

It said: ‘Discrimination is incompatible with the Olympic Movement. Principle 6. Olympic Charter.'

Speaking to Gay Star News, a police spokesman confirmed the arrests and said they would be held until further notice. They could answer no further questions at this time. 

February 7, 2014

Betty Moffitt's declining health forced her lesbian icon daughter to drop out of official US delegation in Sochi

Instead of being at today's opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, tennis legend Billie Jean King was at the side of her 91-year-old mother when Betty Moffitt died.

King, 70, announced earlier this week that she would not be able to fulfill her role as an official US delegate at Sochi because of her mother's declining health.

Both King and her younger brother, retired Major League Baseball pitcher Randy Moffitt, traveled to Arizona to be with their surviving parent. Their father, Bill Moffitt, died in 2006.

February 6, 2014

Ban Ki-moon: 'We must all raise our voices against attacks ... We must oppose the arrests, imprisonments and discriminatory restrictions they face'

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon didn't mention Russia by name but seemed clear it was one of the country's he was referring to when he spoke out Thursday (6 February) against discriminatory laws and violence against LGBTI people.

On the eve of opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Ki-moon addressed the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and his remarks indirectly addressed the impact of Russia's anti-gay propaganda law.

The law makes it a crime in Russia to show any kind of public support of homosexuality.

February 5, 2014

Tennis legend forced to drop out of US delegation to be with her ill 91-year-old mother

Billie Jean King, one of the most famous lesbians in the world, will not be at Friday's opening ceremonies at the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

The 70-year-old tennis legend, President Obama's high-profile appointment to the official US delegation, has decided to stay home to be with her ailing mother.

'It is important for me to be with my mother and my brother at this difficult time,' King said in a statement.

February 5, 2014

O’Grady says he believes Putin is gay as he joins a global day of action against Russia anti-gay hate

Popular gay TV star Paul O’Grady has said he is boycotting Coca-Cola but supporting lesbian BBC Olympics anchor Clare Balding over Sochi.

O’Grady, who made his name as drag queen Lily Savage and is now a TV host, was fronting a protest in London as part of a day of action today (5 February) before the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Around 300 showed up for the protest in London, outside the Prime Minister’s Downing Street home, in the last hour – despite rain and a strike crippling the Tube network.

February 5, 2014

Svetlana Zhurova: 'It is more important who wins than whether he or her is homosexual or not'

Svetlana Zhurova, the 2006 Olympic speed skating champion from Russia, wants the games in Sochi to be about athletic competition - not protests.

Zhurova is honorary 'mayor' of Sochi's mountain Olympic village and spoke to the possibilities of protests over Russia's anti-gay propaganda law during the international athletic competition which begins on Friday (7 February).