1. jackJake says

    Johnny Weir is a narcissistic dumbass.. Of course he’d be against a boycott.. All he sees is individual atheletes and their precious medals.. Meanwhile the country that he fawns over all the time is allowing it’s citizens to torture and harass it’s own citizens for being born gay. Didn’t we learn anything from the 1936 Olympics in Berlin? If anything, going will embolden the Russians because then they control the discussion. Just like Germany 1936

  2. Joseph says

    Their responses are kind of disappointing, particularly Johnny’s — his “I’m so flamboyant already I don’t need to make a statement” is ultimately rather ineffectual.

    And no, you can’t separate “politics” from sports, or anything else, for that matter. Everything we do, every minute of every day, is essentially a political choice.

  3. Ryan says

    I don’t necessarily think they’re wrong that sending out and proud athletes there is sending a powerful message and may be more effective than an ineffective boycott, but given the very real danger to LGBT people — especially fans and workers attending the event — a cancellation of the entire thing by the IOC would be better than a boycott and would send an even more powerful message: we will not tolerate any country making it unsafe or threatening anyone attending our games.

    That is what needs to happen at this point, as much as I’ll feel bad for all the athletes involved. I’d say move it, but I don’t think that’s possible at this point, even if they delayed the games by a year or two.

  4. Gerry says

    This is a complete mess… I completely understand their point, I think Harvey Feinstein summed it up best: “…And Olympic athletes, I understand: You’ve worked your asses off for this for years, but there are still bigger things than you hanging something around your neck. There are bigger things in this world.”

  5. says

    Can you say spineless.

    CNN gave them the perfect format to call on every athlete gay or straight that believes in human rights equality to participate in a solidarity showing and they hid behind ‘my presence is enough’. When history looks back at your moment in history for standing up for human rights this is what they’ll see ‘My presence is enough’. They should both be ashamed. The Michigan trainer got it right. Being in Sochi without making a statement against oppression is tantamount to acceptance.

    Maybe they’ve been too busy training to watch the torture videos coming out of Russia this past week.

  6. J Y says

    Look at all the judgmental queens who are bitching that world class athletes won’t do the work for them. Do yourself a favor. Go to the gym, start training, get to that level, and then do your own statement boycott. They signed up to play a sport, not be your proxy.

  7. shawnthesheep says

    You will be hard pressed to ever find an olympic athlete in favor of an olympic boycott. They spend years training for the Olympics. They will always have a reason why it’s better to compete than to boycott.

  8. BreckRoy says

    It’s not just the years spent training, its the second and third jobs parents and siblings have taken to fund Olympic level training and competing. It’s the literal fact that nearly every single person in your intimate world has sacrificed years and effort and time for this moment. And its about the fact that, for many sports, the athletes have windows of less than 10 years and possibly less than 5…one chance. It’s very easy for us from the outside to call for them to sacrifice what has been their whole life and render meaningless all that others have sacrificed to get them, specifically, to the Olympics, in order to make a purely symbolic stand against a truly, truly odious policy, but we have to respect that it is not as cut and dry as boycott activist want it to be for these athletes and countries. And no one is simply selfish for not sacrificing their livelihood and dreams for a cause, nor are they greedy. People are human.

  9. QJ201 says

    Criticism of Weir always includes a slam on his masculinity.

    Ironic given that “masculine” types always sit back and let the queers and femmes do the fighting for our rights.

  10. says

    ‘won’t do the work for them’

    Like Weir’s marriage, for instance? You think he did that all by himself you condescending prick? Or did he rely on prior generations of LGBT activists that stood up to mob mentality and got their heads bashed so that he could be out, proud, and married?

  11. Really says

    No QJ201, queers and femmes are just the loudest ones, hard to ignore, even when you want to, which is always. The REAL work is done buy average gay guys in the halls of power that you dont see. Queers and femmes are 10% of the gay population, but make 90% of the noise. Its not all constructive.

  12. David says

    I think the nastiness towards these athletes is pretty disappointing. It isn’t a cut and dry situation, and very easy to judge these guys. I don’t agree with them, but they are not saying “Who cares about these persecuted LGBT in Russia” — bullying and torture of gay people is awful, both on these websites and in Russia and Zimbabwe and everywhere. We need to stop the bullying. And yes, gay bitchery is a straum of bullying, sorry.

  13. JMC says

    Gay athletes absolutely should not have to drop out of the games and throw away everything they’ve been working for and no one rational is suggesting that. They absolutely have a moral obligation to take every opportunity to shine the spotlight on what’s going on in Russia though, and this is terrible interview is a major wasted opportunity and just shows how frustratingly clueless and self absorbed most athletes are.

  14. Palmer says

    Weir’s Olympic chances are in his past. He’s 29, an inconsistent performer on his best days and there are younger, more talented skaters who have been busy while he was making a crappy reality program. What he has to say is irrelevant.

    Skellerup has asked for funds from supporters so he can train and go to Sochi. I wish him well but he’ll get no help from me.

  15. Bill says

    It might be worth pointing out that, even if these guys want to do something about the situation, at this point they would not have a good idea as to what to do (the optimal choice would depend on what others are going to do), and even if they did, it would be rather daft of them to broadcast it on TV to give the Russians plenty of lead time to figure out the optimal way to respond.

    My guess is that the Russians will de facto suspend the anti-gay law in Sochi during the Olympics due to the international reaction if athletes or spectators were arrested for merely waving a rainbow flag, wearing a pin, or even demonstrating in some reasonably orderly way.

    Putin may be a rat, but he is not an idiot, and
    as a former Lieutenant Colonel in the KGB and head of the FSB (a KGB successor), he certainly knows how to tighten the screws to get what he wants.

  16. Sean says

    Your money will send an even bigger message when it is used to persecute and oppress LGBT Russians and used to protect the cops and civilians who murder and bash LGBT people.

  17. jjose712 says

    Sorry but it’s very easy to be critic when you are not the one who are going throw off all your efforts during four years.

    And a boycott only will be useful if it’s a global boycott that really harms Russia’s image.
    But if only is the united states, they will be very happy, because it only means more medals for them.

    If i was an athlete, i would want to go there and show the how good a gay can be. Exactly what Jesse Owens did with the nazis

  18. RonCharles says

    Blake Skjellerup and Johnny Weir are exactly right! There is not going to be any large-scale boycott of the Russian Sochi Olympics. Trying to push that is simply a futile waste of energy. Far better would be to encourage athletes around the world, both gay and straight, to turn out publicly, Mike Janykas and Mercedes Nicoll are doing by appearing at Vancouver Pride, to show open support for human rights and the gay community.

  19. Gigi says

    My belief and hope is that Weir and others will do something to show support for the LGBT community while in Russia, but just aren’t saying so on national television so as to no ruin the surprise. If not, he sucks.
    [And not in a good way.]

  20. Lars says

    Boycotts are ok when they are are carefully targeted so as to fairly hold culpable parties responsible — either directly or indirectly — and so as to have maximum impact.

    Which is why a blanket ban on American participation in Sochi would be wrong. The greatest pain would be inflicted NOT on Russian lawmakers (and Russian homophobes generally) but instead on athletes. Why anyone thinks the athletes, who have the weakest bargaining position of anyone involved, should be held responsible for this reprehensible law is beyond me.

    A much more appropriate course of action would be to boycott the law itself. In other words, let the athletes compete in Sochi and openly flout the law by being messengers of equality and tolerance. Their presence will send a stronger message than would their absence (Jesse Owens, anyone?).

    Or boycott NBC’s coverage of the games. While they are minimally culpable, they do stand to profit enormously. And by virtue of their size and power, they are actually in a position to do something. Why are we not directing our efforts against them?

  21. Adam says

    These athletes are speaking from a selfish perspective. What have either of them done for gay rights?

    The IOC is a corrupt organization, nuff said.

  22. says

    Best platform opportunity so far and it’s wasted.

    I get it that not everyone wants to be an activist but neither Weir or Skjellerup said a word about the atrocities LGBT endure in Russia. Not one word. How is it possible that on an international news show that they can completely fail to even mention that lives are at stake there.

    Even if they didn’t want to take the activist lead themselves they shouldn’t have downplayed the importance of showcasing the dehumanizing conditions Russian LGBT now live under. What person equates training sacrifices or a sports competition to human lives?

    If this interview had been done with two athletes that were willing to make a statement and call for a worldwide show of solidarity it could have set off an entirely different dynamic to the Sochi situation. Solidarity instead of boycott.

    My hope is that other athletes will see this and have the courage to step up.

  23. Princely says

    While I totally understand the personal decision these two have made, I think in Johnny’s case he’s actually missing out on a great opportunity to be a trailblazer for RUSSIA. Russians LOVE this guy and have for a long time. Many of them had either no idea he was gay or just turned a blind eye to it (much like Liberace). He became an icon for fans there. Now that he’s married to a man, there cannot be any doubt he’s gay. THIS would be the perfect time for him to go to his fans in Russia. He’ll lose some, but we know how people can be with their icons, they’re loath to let go. He could really take advantage of that and just dare them to hate him now. Most wouldn’t and that could be a learning experience for the Russian fans.

  24. Bill says

    @SERIOUSLY: How do you know that they did not say anything about atrocities in Russia? Don’t forget that a news program can, and usually does, edit such interviews, if only for length.

    If the news program wants to make a particular point, anything not deemed relevant to that point could be cut.

  25. says

    That’s the full interview Bill. Watch it again. 7 minutes of non stop unedited questions. The first one about boycotting, the rest about show of solidarity. The anchors were trying to make a point about solidarity. They were so shocked by ‘presence’ being their answer for show of solidarity they asked the same question AGAIN after showing them UofM trainers statement about silence is acquiescence.

    The very first point to be made by anyone advocating activism would have been about the torture Russian LGBT face.

  26. says

    I agree, Seriously. There is certainly an argument to be made for out athletes going to Sochi and being a presence there. But, they evaded the questions (instead repeating the same answer about “presence” over and over) and completely left out the horrors happening to LGBT people in Russia. It made it seem like it was all about them, when it really isn’t, or shouldn’t be. A missed opportunity, whatever one thinks about a boycott.

  27. says

    ten bucks says “REALLY” isn’t man enough to put a face to his comments..his kind never is.

    *elegant curtsy*

    you show me an “i hate femmes!” commenter who has the balls to post his face and name and say it VISIBLY and I’ll show you a unicorn.

    stop being mad that the femme guys aren’t insecure like you are, and at some point realize that it’s not their fault that your dad is still ashamed to have a gay kid.

    boycott VS protest?

    well, the only way i’d be ok with No Boycott is if there IS a visible show of defiance, and not just from the gay athletes; but from any and every athlete that possess a spine and even an ounce of integrity.

    all of these statements about “oh, don’t worry, the athletes and tourist spectators will be just FIIIINE” statements make me want to puke.

    how pathetic a human must be to say “well, as long as they attack THOSE gays, and not thoooose ones”…Gross.

    every athlete that considers themselves in any way a decent human being should stand in solidarity with the LGBT Communities, and adopt a form of visual Iconography that shows their support of us, and their condemnation of the Russian government.

  28. TimD says

    I have said in other places, I think if Russia has its law they should enforce it. Out gay athletes should be treated however the law sets its penalties. That would draw true notice to the situation. I’m glad Weir was included because of his long time fascination with Russia. I agree that his chances of even qualifying are extremely slim. I hope this situation continues to generate attention.

  29. says

    what we need are some true Olympic Baadassses.

    does anyone remember that EPIC moment when Surya Bonaly executed an illegal backflip in competition, landed it ON ONE FOOT, and finished her routine with her back to the judges?

    it was a GLORIOUS “F**K YOU” to the judges.

    why did she do it? she believed in her point, more than about sucking up for a possible medal.

    i’d love to see that, multiplied. if you worry about your possible action affecting your ability to win a medal, you know exactly how much you’d sell our your fellow man, and at what price.

  30. Mike Ryan says

    Remember, these are gay athletes participating in the Olympic games so of course they want the exposure and the glory. They shouldn’t be asking any athlete. Both of these athletes are cowards, whining little girls.

    Boycott the Olympics with or without their approval. Money is the driving force here. Take that away from Russia over their mistreatment of gays and you’ll see Russia change their tune very quickly. The IOC could solve the problem by moving the Olympic out of Russia all together.

  31. Hey says

    Let’s all gang up on “Queer Weir” What are you a bunch of homophobes? It doesn’t matter if CNN boycotts. Latest ratings after Zimmerman trial for CNN are going down the toilet. You anti-Weir comment-ors are a bunch of hypocrites. He is what being gay is — and was, during gay history. Forget about the Olympics. You have zero say in the matter, you have no power. Save your knee jerk concern you married fools.

  32. Jeff says

    It seems like Johnny Weir’s opinion is not the popular opinion. Sorry I think we need to boycott the Olympics. This is far bigger than a few sportsmen being disappointed. This is every day gay and lesbian people being put in great danger.

  33. RLW says

    Weir made his real motive known on Good Morning America saying this is his living. Many have sacrificed so he can be flamboyant. Time to give back.

  34. Tarc says

    How would the presence of gay athletes who are not ALLOWED to BE THEMSELVES be a good example for anyone? The Russians have said that they’ll arrest anyone for even mentioning being gay in the press (which is ‘gay propaganda’). The IOC is lying when they say they can assure the safety of the athletes and attendees. Frankly, it’s flat out bizarre that they even chose a location in Russia in the first place, but clearly this was a horrifically bad choice. I’m for a full Western boycott – and perhaps and alternate games in the US or Canada.

  35. Richard says

    They’re trying to convince everyone — and perhaps themselves — that their athletic agenda will further our human-rights agenda. It won’t. Boycott the Russian games.

  36. Craig says

    1} Boycotts are stupid and ineffective. We laugh at “one million moms” and AFA and all those “christian” groups when they threaten boycotts.

    2} There will not be a boycott of the Sochi Olympics so figure out some other way to aggravate the Russians during it.

    3} Neither of these athletes have even made their Olympic teams yet.

  37. Bill says

    @SERIOUSLY: You have no basis to say it was not edited. Not only could they have cut whatever appeared before or after that apparent segment, but there were a series of transitions between showing each athlete alone, and both plus the newscasters together. Any of those transitions gives an opportunity for a cut that would be completely unnoticeable. Now editing it to appear seamless takes some skill, but it is will within the capabilities of a TV news organization.

  38. says

    And you have absolutely no basis other than conjecture for saying that very important statements about torture would be edited out. The anchors were practically begging for one of them to make a statement about showing solidarity. Which seems more plausible?

  39. Bill says

    @SERIOUSLY: news broadcasts get edited all the time for a variety of reasons including guesses as to what will appeal to viewers and length (you have to fit it into time slots between the all important commercials, which are what brings in the money to pay for the news programs). Editing is not unusual. In fact, it is what normally occurs. In fact the video was quite obviously edited – that’s the process necessary to switch between views of all three of them and various individuals independently.

    You have no basis for saying one way or the other what might have been in any segment not shown.

    Also, “very important statements about torture” are generally not made by athletes – the important statements are made by heads of state who have the authority to do something that might actually get someone’s attention. Putin could care less what two young and talented athletes say on some North American TV news program. He’d care a lot if the heads of state of his major trading partners threatened a trade embargo over it.

  40. Buckie Weston says

    I think they’re both very accurate about the significance of the impact of presence of gay Olympians and tourists on Russia.

    Boycott/cancel, and what have you really accomplished ?

    Isolationism and the encouragement thereof is precisely what holds back development and changes in attitudes. It’s what made Russia what it has been in the past, and is now.

    When you passionately advocate for hurting everyone in a particular place by isolating them from their supporters, the only person you’re helping is yourself – by making yourself feel good about “doing” something – when in reality, you’re actually doing absolutely NOTHING but running your big mouth on the internet.

    THEY are doing more for gay rights than all the negative posters here put together, and that’s what’s so hilarious and ironic.

  41. USC Trojans Fan says

    Johny Weir has so much self hate about being gay that I genuinely don’t understand who elected him the gay athletic spokesperson but it needs to stop. The kid is NOT a friend of the LGBT community.

  42. Duration & Convexity says

    This segment was so insulting to the heart of the issue at hand. The two gay athletes and their weasely scared tone, the female host. The black male host was the only respectable part of the entire segment addressing the fact that the 68′ games included two brave black athletes who made a statement….and Johnny responds defensively about the rainbow flag? THESE are our LGBT athletes going into this fragile games? Sh*t!

  43. Klien says

    That was truly despicable. One of them was completely uninformed about what is going on with the anti LGBT policies in Russia (Blake) and Wier and his pro Russia prpoganda all but said “LGBT need to get over this” I mean really, this is the best we can do in regard to finding athletes to care enough to know the topic at hand and articulate a passionate response when lives are at stake? Literally shaking my head at this.

  44. LipstickDiva says

    My straight roomie sent me this clip after she saw it on live t.v and wrote ‘you gays can’t galvanize. look at these two gays and how much they couldn’t give two craps about what’s happening in Russia”

    Please GLBT organizations, do better than these two in the 6 month lead up to these games.

  45. Alejandro says

    My issues with these men is not at all their refusal to boycott the games, but the entire tone of this interview and their consistent indifference to the issue in Russia. They referred to LGBT human rights as ‘politics’ and difference of opinion? I’m sorry but that right there is Conservative 101 speech for pretending there’s no there—there. And there’s a there there here. Both these young men did a poor job highlighting genuine concerns we have for our LGBT families overseas. I’m truly appalled right now after viewing that.

  46. Two Dads says

    Was anyone else thoroughly disappointed by how these two queer athletes handled this interview? I happen to be a fan of both, but every one of their responses sounded almost defensive toward our community and I was waiting for one of them to tell us to get over this story. Yikes. Not what I was expecting to see by members of our own community speaking on the human right conditions of others.

  47. michelle says

    I don’t at all mind they aren’t boycotting the games but I didn’t find either of their intentions noble or genuine or for the greater good of LGBT, which is fine, but don’t come on a talk show and pretend to be this advocate of LGBT rights when everything you say seems so far removed from the matter at hand. And really Johnny? You don’t want to intervene in politics? This is political? Look up human rights in a dictionary.

  48. Bama Man says

    Johnny Weir’s past quotes about the gay community have always rubbed me the wrong way. This interview reaffirms what I’ve always thought of him. It’s always about his marriage and he seems to think marriage is the end all be all of equal humane rights of LGBT. It’s fascinating how ill equipped he was in answering the questions posed at him in this clip. Either he really couldn’t give a crap or he’s being paid by some Russian endorsement company. Or both.

  49. VO505 says

    That rowing coach from Michigan state had showcased more courage and bravery in that 10 second clip than both these men combined in their 8 minute interview.

  50. JR. says

    I just gotta say it. Im so glad my latino community is a lot more proactive and united when faced with racism than the flippant tone of the two gay guys above when asked about how gays are awfully treated in the country they are about to go participate in. the latino community will let you know we’re latino, chicano, Hispanic and PROUD and you’ll know it if you step up with racism or any government does. we stand together like glue. johnny’s response to the rainbow flag question was all I needed to hear about why the gay community is mistreated still in this day and age. just one big lame stamp on bis response.

  51. Macguire says

    Yeah, I’d go ahead and file this under the worst LGBT related interview maybe ever. That was painful Both seemed completely uncomfortable to even be discussing the issue as if they were under this notion that CNN asked them to be on to discuss their gold medal aspirations. Ugh, no boys. This was about a much bigger issue than that. One both of you seem luke warm about. Again, hard to watch that.

  52. Dastius Krazitauc says

    “I hope they put Johnny in the gulag so we’re never subjected to that horrid little blight on civilization again.”

    And his “sheer” presence there will be a gift to the other gulag residents, since they are most certainly fans. Johnny is quite big in Russia, ya know. His sheer flamboyant presence (and his skill of speaking the Russian language: Но довольно обо мне, давайте поговорим о вас … Что вы думаете обо мне?)will elevate and inspire the entire gulag. Win, win.

  53. will says

    I’m disliking Johnny Weir here not because he’s girlish but because he’s full of himself. “Oh, just my PRESENCE is enough, I’m so well-known in Russia… I was front-page news when I got married…” We’ve all had narcissistic friends like this, it’s always centered on them, and Johnny is a terrible representative of the “community”. Blake will come around.

  54. says

    folks, here’s an idea: many of you are very very upset by the interview, and whom you’re calling “gay spokespeople.”

    Uh ,ok.

    here’s what you do: you turn your webcam on, you make a video, you post it online, you share it.

    there are NO “elected gay spokespeople” – even in 2013, “gay spokespeople” are spokespeople by DEFAULT.

    what does default mean? it means that so few of us are willing to put a face and name to our statements and our messages that those who do become de facto “spokespeople”..BY DEFAULT.

    don’t like them? then stop typing about how you don’t like them and PUT YOUR OWN FACE AND MESSAGE OUT THERE.

    that’s how people become “gay spokespeople/leaders/etc…”

    so, get on it.

  55. Merv says

    The most pathetic part of the interview is when Weir says he will definitely not be taking any actions that could be interpreted as gay propaganda. It fits in perfectly with his advice from a few months ago that visitors to Russian refrain from having sex in the metro station. If I didn’t know better, I would think this uncle Tom is working for the other side.

  56. Rich says

    Given that many of these comments are also debating the role of celebrities to become de facto spokespeople in the gay community, well, it’s a blessing and a curse, isn’t it. There was a time not long ago when gay people wouldn’t even have been invited to the party. But unfortunately, in this case, we get Skjellerup and Weir. (And interestingly not one representative from a major gay organization.)

    It’s telling that the most powerful and succinct perspective came from Charlie Sullivan, and only one comment here, among three pages worth, mentioned him by name; most don’t refer to him at all.

    That’s the power of celebrity. Stevie Wonder may not have that much impact on Florida’s stand your ground law, but you can bet that more black people are listening and inspired than would have been if he’d kept his mouth shut and kept performing in Florida. When you’re in some position to have a greater voice than usual, you do what you can, and sometimes that’s just putting your fists in the air.

  57. GregV says

    I only just noticed that Johnny tweets as “Johnny Weir-Voronov.” I wonder if thst is his legal name (or just his “Twitter name”).
    It would be a subtle but important message at Sochi if he would go by “Johnny Weir-Voronov,” and introduce his Russian-speaking husband to the Russian press at every opportunity.

  58. says

    So now you want to change your editing out statements about atrocities to editing for visual change of monitors and say they equate. No.
    This is a morning show LIVE interview. Not a network news or a news show where segments are taped in advance. LIVE. Pay attention to the clock in the bottom right hand corner of the CNN banner and watch it as the interview is conducted. From good morning to thank you. 6:42 Despite what you claim it is in fact NOT edited. Switching cameras in an interview is not editing.

    Your assertion that these two had no obligation to talk about the atrocities in Russia is your opinion and you’re welcome to it. To me they were a huge fail.

  59. Toddy Out West says

    You know, these two are invited to the party, and none of the rest of you are even going, so I really don’t see why you think your opinions are worth anything…

    Yeah, you’re too afraaaaid to gooooooo.

    For all the blithering about “the greater good” and opining about what they should be saying or doing, NONE of YOU are going to DO ANYTHING at all that makes a bit of difference to our brothers and sisters over there !

  60. C.J says

    What I find troubling about this interview is both their resistance to want to actively do something- ANYTHING- in a symbolic tone for the LGBT community other than showing up. It’s their personal right to not want to be a leader to champion LGBT human rights in Russia, but they need to then stop making the interview rounds speaking on a matter both clearly are uncomfortable to address.

  61. C.J says

    What I find troubling about this interview is both their resistance to want to actively do something- ANYTHING- in a symbolic tone for the LGBT community other than showing up. It’s their personal right to not want to be a leader to champion LGBT human rights in Russia, but they need to then stop making the interview rounds speaking on a matter both clearly are uncomfortable to address.

  62. LuckyCiro says

    The straight male reporter asking the questions seemed more passionate and clearly concerned with what is happening in Russia compared to the two gay athletes that seemed to have been told by their agents that this was an interview about them winning a gold medal and not ya know, human rights issues? smh.

  63. Bobby says

    They do realize they can be arrested and locked up for being gay in Russia, right? If that’s what they want, more power to them. As for me, I will not be supporting the Olympics at all this year.

  64. Jerry6 says

    Why did the OIC pick Russia for the Games? They have always been a problem The USA boycotted the games with Russia once before. Why are they even considered for the Games? NO Totalitarian country should ever be considered for the games.

  65. Bill says

    @SERIOUSLY:, No, I wasn’t changing anything. I was merely showing that there was in fact editing that was done well enough that you did not notice at all: you said, “7 minutes of non stop unedited questions.” Yet the video was obviously edited to switch views and at points where they changed topics, something could easily have been cut without anyone noticing. Neither of the two people involved said whether they talked for only 7 minutes of if they talked longer and only 7 minutes of the interview was shown, whether a contiguous 7 minutes or not.

    Their could have been a lot said that did not appear on the video, but you’d have to be there
    to tell. You might consider too that if one of them had a very clever idea that would take 5 minutes to explain, that could easily have been cut because the alloted time slot appears to be more like 7 minutes and maybe they wanted everyone to have approximately equal times.

  66. LK says

    Johnny Weir has written three op-ed pieces in the last three weeks about exactly this topic. Clearly he didn’t have time in a 6-minute interview to say everything he’s said in writing. But here’s some excerpts from the piece he just published two days before this interview (read it here:

    “It has been brought to my attention that I value gold medals and dazzling performances more than human rights and lives … For the record, there is no medal or performance that is worth a life. My stance is simply that a strong pro-LGBT presence in Sochi will only help to show how backward and out of touch the Russian government’s laws are. …[I]nternational outrage, attention and pressure will only help the community…”

    “[D]espite some posters’ opinions, I currently do not have a sponsor and should I qualify for the Olympics in Sochi, I will not earn one dollar for my efforts. I would compete in Sochi … to support my community.”

    “Boycotting Russia may seem like the best way to help, but I firmly believe that boycotting would also lead us to boycott the people we are trying to protect. I believe that should our presence not be felt in Russia … it will anger the Russian government that their $50 billion spectacle of an Olympics was ruined and they’ll immediately turn fury on those who seemingly caused the humiliation, those we tried to protect.”

    “I will proudly go to Russia and be myself and should I be arrested, I won’t cry, I will stand as strong as I possibly can to show that we are equal and normal in every sense of the word.”

    Please also note that the most prominent Russian LGBT activists still remaining in Russia, Nikolai Alexeyev and his colleagues, do NOT want a boycott, and they have gratefully embraced Johnny’s stance and support of them (

    With both family and many LGBT friends in Russia, Johnny is well aware of what is going on there. He has not arrived at his opinion without due consideration of all factors involved, despite what many here seem to assume. And in response to a comment above, yes, his legal married name is Johnny Weir-Voronov, and his passport/visas are issued in that name.

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