Five U.S. Figure Skaters Grilled on Gays and Russia at Olympic Media Summit
Several U.S. Olympic hopeful figure skaters were asked about Russia's anti-gay laws today at the U.S. Olympic Committee media summit in Park City, Utah. Seems as though it's a standard question now, which is good.
“I have gay family members and I have a lot of friends in the LBGT community, so -– I’m so nervous to be talking about this, it’s that taboo –- I just have such a firm stance on this. I really believe we should all have equal rights. I obviously do not support the legislation in Russia, but at the same time it’s not my place to go into Russia and tell them how to run their country. I’m just an athlete.... I believe that the best way you can show your support for the community is to speak about it. I do think the Olympics are really an opportunity for us as athletes to go in and show what we can do with our sport. During the Olympics I’m going to be focused mostly on the competition and my skating.”
Said bronze medalist Agnes Zawadski: “The Olympics are about all the countries coming together and being as one. My main focus is going to be the Olympics and enjoying the moment, if I make it, and representing the U.S. really well and showing that I’m proud to be an American … I’m not there to make a difference. I’m going to focus on myself and what I have to do to compete well.”
Said three-time U.S. champion Jeremy Abbott, who was criticized in August for comparing Russia's anti-gay laws to interior decorating: "I think there is no right answer. There is no way to answer this question properly without offending somebody. That’s why we all feel we are walking on eggshells. . .We have to be cautious about what we say."
Said defending gold medalist Evan Lysacek: "I really prefer to leave it up to [the U.S. Olympic Committee] to comment because I think one voice is the most powerful with political matter like this."
Skater Gracie Gold chimed in: "It's definitely a hot topic that will be addressed."