Olympic Champion Greg Louganis Calls for Protest of Russia's Anti-gay Laws
At a Capitol Hill briefing today, Olympic champion diver Greg Louganis again expressed anger at Russia's anti-gay regime, calling on Olympians to protest the heinous law by dedicating their performances at the Sochi Games to their LGBT friends and relatives. USA Today reports:
Louganis said as he understands the law, Olympic athletes in Sochi could potentially be in trouble for wearing rainbow pins in support of the LGBT movement. That, he said, is why he thinks athletes should publicly thank gay friends and relatives who have supported them in their road to the Olympics
"I don't see how the IOC can say anything about that, because it's personal, not political," Louganis said. "If you have a supportive aunt, uncle, cousin, friend who is gay, you don't win a gold medal by yourself. There is a team of people behind you. And to recognize those people is a way athletes can show their support of the LGBT community and what's going on in Russia."
Louganis, however, remains opposed to a boycott of the Games themselves, saying that it would hurt the wrong people - the athletes. He says he has received harsh criticism from fans for that position.
"I got hate mail," he said. "I was told, 'How can I call myself a gay man?' Or that I was a horrible homosexual. I had one really graphic and hateful one and actually reached out to him and we became friends. I was able to express why. I come from the perspective of an athlete."
"I commended the guy who was critical of me. All I'm trying to do is incite action. That's all he's trying to do. We're all on the same side. If you say boycott, that's how you address the issue. I am saying no boycott, but maybe there is another way."