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Content about the Olympics

August 6, 2014

'Your sport is what makes up who you are more than your sexuality'

Speed skater Blake Skjellerup, who represented New Zealand in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, reminds closeted athletes that they need to keep their eye on the prize until they are ready to come out.

The 29 year old came out himself four months after he competed in the Olympics and finished 16th. He is one of the official ambassadors for the Gay Games which begin on Friday (8 August) in Cleveland, Ohio.

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.

July 18, 2014

Australia's most famous swimming champion couldn't deal with the emotional burden of keeping his sexuality secret

Swimming superstar Ian Thorpe retired early over the emotional burden of keeping his sexuality secret, his former teammate Grant Hackett believes.

‘I believe this was the major factor that led Ian to wrap up his career in his mid-20s,’ Hackett wrote in a blog for an online bookmaker on Friday.

‘The heights he scaled throughout his career were unprecedented, but there could have been a whole lot more to the CV of Ian Thorpe.’

Hackett, who has won three gold medals in swimming at the Olympics, said Thorpe’s coming out was not a ‘surprise to many’.

June 12, 2014

Half of this is actual content, and the other half is an excuse to post pictures of hot footballers. Just so we’re clear

There are plenty of reasons why you might not like football.

You might dislike the homophobic, misogynistic culture, you might hate how there will be no openly gay players in the World Cup, or you might be American.

In a poll on Gay Star News, 64% of you said you will not be watching a single game.

If you do love the game, that’s great. This article is probably not for you, as you know all of this already.

May 13, 2014

Politicians call to create new contest, the 'Voice of Eurasia', where 'gay culture' will be explicitly banned

Russia could be pulling out of the Eurovision Song Contest to create their own competition where ‘gay culture’ will be banned.

A lawmaker has called on the country to stop participating in the contest to create the ‘Voice of Eurasia’.

‘The results of the latest Eurovision were the last straw,’ Valerii Rishkin, a Community Party MP said.

‘We must leave this contest immediately, it is high time that we stop tolerating this madness.’

He alleges Russia spends up to €40 million ($55 million) on Eurovision.

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.

March 6, 2014

Victor Voronov asks that charges be dropped stemming from domestic dispute before the Olympics

Johnny Weir talked figure skating at the Olympics and fashion at the Oscars.

One thing he wasn't talking about was his date with a judge stemming from a police report husband Victor Voronov filed accusing Weir of biting him during a domestic dispute.

The couple, who married in December 2011, appeared in Lyndhurst Municipal Court in New Jersey this week (4 March) and asked a judge to dismiss the case, according to RadarOnline.

March 4, 2014

'Basically, it's OK to hate now and you can get away with it'

Reflecting in her whirlwind trip to the Olympics in Sochi last month, sports icon Billie Jean King left inspired by the athletes but worried about the gay people who live in Russia.

King, 70, spent three days in Russia and attended the closing ceremonies as part of the official US delegation to the games.

While there, she met with a Russian teen who is gay and is getting bullied in an atmosphere where an anti-gay propaganda law has led to an increase in violence.

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 24, 2014

Cher said no, and the world listened. From ballet demonstrations to national commercials, from tweets to open letters, here are the 14 ways the world came together for the Russian LGBTI community

Did you pour your Stoli vodka down a drain, or stop eating McDonald’s during the Winter Olympics?

In recent months Russia has been at the center of a civil rights firestorm, between president Putin signing anti-gay laws to politicians threatening LGBTI Olympic athletes and spectators.

Even though the Sochi Winter Olympics wrapped up this weekend, the reactions to Russia's anti-gay laws are still being seen, heard and felt around the world.

February 21, 2014

Canada's Denny Morrison: 'I've done some not-nice things in my time. I think I've grown a lot more since then'

Canadian speed skater Denny Morrison won silver and bronze medals at the Olympics in Sochi - all while sponsored by a gay bar.

The two-time world record breaker is sponsored by Twisted Element, a gay bar in Calgary.

There was a time when the 28 year old would not have been so thrilled about such an affiliation.

'I grew up in a small town and had been teased about my sport, being a figure skater, wearing spandex, calling me names and insinuating I was gay,' Morrison said in an interview this week with with the CBC.

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

Berlin’s guardians of the Rainbow Flame appeal for people to show solidarity to the LGBTI protestors in Russia

One brave trans woman has stood up to Russia’s gay hate in Sochi, and it’s time to say thank you.

Vladimir Luxuria’s story has spread worldwide after she defied the Russian authorities at the Olympics and openly spoke out for LGBTI people.

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 17, 2014

Bravo's Watch What Happens Live host says his 'blood boils' whenever he sees Putin on TV

Andy Cohen, the openly gay host of Bravo channel's What What Happens Live talk show, refered to Russian President Vladimir Putin as a 'bastard' in an interview over the weekend.

During a piece on LGBTI equality on NBC's Meet the Press, Cohen was asked about Putin inadvertently hugging a gay gold medal speed skater from Holland.

Replied Cohen: 'We all get carried away in the magic and pageantry of the Olympics. I mean, wouldn’t it be great if that bastard did too? I mean, it would be. He put on a huge show. Learn something from it.'

February 17, 2014

Vladimir Luxuria was arrested in the southern city of Russia for holding up a sign for saying 'Gay Is OK'

While she may have just spent a few hours detained in a Russian police station, the trans activist and former MP is determined to continue making a political statement against anti-gay laws.

Vladimir Luxuria, a former politician in the Italian parliament, was arrested in Sochi while holding a waving flag saying ‘Gay Is OK’ in Russian.

‘I've been freed and tomorrow I'll watch the Games,’ the 48-year-old advocate wrote in a text message, according to the ANSA news agency.

February 14, 2014

Johnny Weir has spoken out how figure skating is viewed as feminine in the US, but masculine in Russia

Both gay and straight ice skaters have spoken out against the homophobic bullying they face in the sport.

As the world’s eye is on Russia and the anti-gay laws LGBTI people face there, some may look to figure skating as the gay oasis in a desert of homophobia.

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 8, 2014

Lesbian BBC reporter Clare Balding has responded to tweets attacking her coverage of the Winter Olympics 

Lesbian BBC sports presenter Clare Balding hits back at Twitter trolls attacking her for going to work at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Balding, 43, faced criticism, some of it homophobic, after it was revealed she would be part of the team covering the Olympics.

Some felt she should use the opportunity to speak out against anti-gay Russia whereas others thought she agreed to go to Sochi purely for the money.

One Twitter user said: ‘principles before profit time?’

February 8, 2014

GLAAD praises spots as truly reflecting 'the fabric of our nation, which today includes gay and lesbian families'

The Russian government may be busy cracking down on any public display of support of homosexuality as the Olympics kick off in Sochi, but it has no control over what airs on NBC.

The US broadcaster of the 2014 Winter Olympics aired two commercials from car company Chevrolet that could never air in Russia due to its anti-gay propaganda law.

They feature families with same-sex couples and aired during NBC's tape-delayed telecast of opening ceremonies which took place earlier in the day on Friday (7 February).

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

Dutch prime minister and Russian president meet despite extreme tension between the two countries following assaults and humiliation

President Vladimir Putin has told the world the Olympics is not the place to discuss Russia’s treatment of gay people.

In a meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, the Russian president demanded politics and sport should not mix.

‘I know you always give much attention to humanitarian issues and adherence to human rights,’ Putin said, according to Reuters.

‘We are always open to discussion.’