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Out Olympic Speed Skater Blake Skjellerup Speaks Out Against Russia's Anti-Gay Law: VIDEO

Olympics

With Russia's new gay "propaganda" ban signed into law last month, LBGT Olympians from around the world are already anticipating the chilling effects that the new law will bring to Sochi.

In an interview with Vocativ, Blake Skjellerup, a New Zealand speed skating hopeful who competed in Vancouver in 2010, blasted the new law for being a major step backwards in terms of Olympic commitments to diversity and LGBT inclusiveness. 

Screen Shot 2013-07-11 at 7.58.20 PMSays Skjellerup:

"I think being in a country like Russia where they've decided to introduce these new laws basically saying telling children that homosexuals don't exist is a massive step backwards for the LGBT human rights movement for the world, not just for Russia."

Unlike the Vancouver Olympics, Sochi will not have a Pride House for LGBT Athletes. Blake says the Pride House in Vancouver made him realize "being out and being open is a great thing, something to be proud of and not something you should hide."

If selected to participate in the 2014 Olympics, Blake plans on wearing a rainbow flag pin as a symbol of pride and defiance. "If it gets me in trouble, then I guess so be it."  

Check out the interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

 

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Comments

  1. Great message. I hope he makes the finals and let's his pride flag fly! I will say that including the fur hag, Johnny Weir, was a pointless distraction.

    Posted by: Timothy | Jul 12, 2013 8:38:09 AM


  2. Blake Skjellerup is a class act. Hope he wears that rainbow pin right up onto the podium.

    I am very proud of my original hometown of Vancouver for Pride House: it obviously made a huge impact to have a refuge for gay athletes. Also, inclusivity is supposed to be part of the Olympic message, not the hate peddled by Putin and his purely evil enablers in the Russian Orthodox Church.

    Posted by: Strepsi | Jul 12, 2013 8:47:11 AM


  3. A PIN!? Olympians are EXEMPT from the propaganda law! Every SINGLE Olympian who doesn't in some way protest this ban with gay propaganda around them or for the cameras is a shameful loser.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Jul 12, 2013 10:06:31 AM


  4. 'So be it'

    Thank you Blake for your bravery in standing up against LGBT oppression everywhere by refusing to be cowed by an Olympic host state. By participating in the Olympics and wearing his LGBT rainbow pin he'll be silently but proudly proclaiming defiance against how Russia treats it's LGBT citizens.

    Let's see if we can get more Olympic Games participants gay or straight from around the world do the same.

    Posted by: JONES | Jul 12, 2013 10:14:39 AM


  5. Boycott the Russian olympics.

    Posted by: Jay | Jul 12, 2013 11:14:33 AM


  6. I think that all progressive nations need to add some kind of rainbow inspired emblem as part of their national uniforms to show support for LGBT people and to distance themselves from this oppressive law. I would rather that the people of Russia see this on their tv sets rather than hard working athletes have to boycott the Games entirely.

    Posted by: Douglas | Jul 12, 2013 11:45:21 AM


  7. Meanwhile, Johnny Weir is advising gay athletes to "tone it down" to avoid embarrassing his beloved Russia.

    Posted by: Merv | Jul 12, 2013 12:25:14 PM


  8. it's one of those things - we need a strong front. either a complete boycott, or a rainbow-emblazoned show of defiance from every single athlete, gay or straight.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jul 12, 2013 12:29:15 PM


  9. The more I think about this it grows as a tremendous opportunity to raise awareness to the plight of LGBT globally.

    Blake's defiance if accompanied by every athlete that believes in equality wearing a rainbow pin and talking about Russian and worldwide oppression on international broadcasts is an opportunity that we should not let pass us by.

    Posted by: JONES | Jul 12, 2013 1:16:33 PM


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