Gay Olympic Ski Jumper Won’t Protest Russia’s Anti-Gay Law: ‘No One Cares’

Austrian veteran ski jumper Daniela Iraschko-Stolz, who we neglected to include in the talley of openly gay Olympians we published last week, says she won't make any public protest of Russia's anti-gay laws, NZ Newswire reports:

Iraxhko-stolzThe openly gay athlete, who got married last autumn, dominated the women's second training on the normal hill, showing she was ready to grab a historic first Olympic gold.

"I don't think it's a good idea to make protests here, no one cares," said the 30-year-old, who added her partner's name — Stolz — to hers upon marriage.

"To jump pretty good is also a statement."

"I'm together with my partner now and don't have any problems, not in Russia or with the Austrian federation. Ten years ago it was different," she recalled.

"I know Russia will go and make the right steps in the future and we should give them time."

Comments

  1. SteveDenver says

    These are the Country Club Olympics and she’s a privileged brat. Unless you live in the Swiss Alps, how many people can afford the equipment, coaching and access to skiiing? She’s a stain.

  2. Bill says

    @SteveDenver: there are mountains and a lot of skiing in Austria too, and you don’t have to be privileged” to live close to a ski area. BTW, ski jumping uses skis that are more like cross country skis – the heel is not tied down, so the equipment may be cheaper as well.

  3. Sergio says

    These Olympics have been such a disappointment for gay rights protests so far. I guess no one – not even our ‘fellow’ gays and lesbians – cares about us.

  4. says

    People like Daniella infuriate me and then I realize how utterly useless it is to say anything to her. If she doesn’t understand the importance of speaking out by now she’s never going to.

    Is it disconnect? Lack of ability to feel apathy? Blinkered/privileged? Doesn’t think about the Austrian LGBT who fought (like the Russian LGBT are doing now) to gain the rights she takes for granted. Marriage. Protection under law. As long as it’s not affecting her directly she’ll say nothing. ‘Give Russia time’ really? What about Nigeria? Uganda?

    How much effort (time, money, energy, protests, election campaigns) did you personally put into the fight so that you could marry Daniella?

    Weir meet your Austrian counterpart.

  5. JackFknTwist says

    “To jump pretty good is also a statement.”

    “I’m together with my partner now”……so phuck you all.
    There’s no point whatever trying to reason or enlighten this dizzy self absorbed snow queen.
    Being gay, growing up gay, living life through what we have all been through, has been a journey of intense existential angst…..at least for me.

    Just to read these words from a grinning complacent ignoramus gives me the shakes of rage. She has no concept of what has happened to get to live with her partner.
    Read some history, you Austrian harpie.

  6. says

    “I know Russia will go and make the right steps in the future and we should give them time.”

    How in heaven’s name does she know that??
    Please, I’ve studied Russia for 40 years, and I’d love to know her sources!

  7. Michaelandfred says

    The kind of person who did nothing must likely to get the rights she has, just rode on the backs of others who paved the way for her easy life, so obviously has zero compassion for what others are going through. Pampered, privileged and self centered. Oh yes please, please do the world a favor by winning a shiny prize no one but you will remember tomorrow.

    That’s what no one really cares about…whatever your name was.

  8. rafa says

    “Her thing is sports.” Being a jock does not mean you get a pass on your responsibility as a human being. There are plenty of other jocks–many of them straight–who recognize the injustice in Russia and are willing to speak out against it. The fact she is queer and blind to the cruelty of the Russian state, then makes callously self-serving remarks about the situation, makes her eminently suitable for criticism.

  9. Louis says

    Idiot. Thats the only word that comes to mind.

    Does she not realize that what torolitarian rule is?

    This woman deserves NO support at all from anyone….. Austrian or LGBT.

  10. Håkon says

    The last time I felt this isolated from the rest of humanity was during the Chick-Fil-A debacle. I thank those allies and fellow LGBTs who are vocally supporting us, but the potential for strong, positive gay rights action during these Games is quickly being squandered.

  11. JackFknTwist says

    @ HAKON :

    I agree.
    The opportunity for these athletes to do the right thing of denouncing repressive laws is slipping away.

    “When they came for the gays,we kept silent.”
    “When they came for the Jews, we kept silent.”
    -Holocaust memorial.

  12. andrew says

    I wish her well. She may not be taking the political stand some of our professional homos would like, but her being out and there competing helps further the cause of LGBT equality.

  13. GoodMorning says

    “…who got married last autumn”
    “I’m together with my partner now and don’t have any problems…”
    -What a REPULSIVE free-rider.

    “I don’t think it’s a good idea to make protests here, no one cares,”
    “I know Russia will go and make the right steps in the future and we should give them time.”
    – Oh and you know LGBTs HAVE TIME?! Russia has promised to slaughter gays if they don’t go back into the closet… And how dare you say no one cares; YOU don’t care.

    “To jump pretty good is also a statement.”
    – Sure, play your sport to possibly win medals no one with a heart will care about, keep your head down and count the money and endorsements. You will be remembered as the selfish, uncompassionate, greedy monster you are.
    Maybe you’ll get a warm congratulations from Jo Jordan the traitor.

  14. says

    Good for her for being out and open, but it’s one thing to say I’m out and I’d like to use my time in Sochi to focus on ski jumping and quite another to speak for others and say, No one cares, and then also say she knows Russia will make the right steps in the future–from her privileged protection inside Olympic bubble–when she knows nothing of the sort.

    There is ample evidence that Russia will take very wrong steps, so for her to paint a rosy picture based on nothing but ignorance is offensive. Try living as an out gay person in Russia, then speak about whether you have any problems.

  15. andrew says

    @GOODMORNING: Just being an LGBT person is against the law in about 75 nations. Russia is not even at the top of the list of those backward nations. Your hysteria: ” Russia has promised to slaughter gays if they don’t go back into the closet” is not just false, but accomplishes nothing.

  16. Bill says

    @litper: Your comment was “Austria, where gays still have subhuman status.”
    @SERIOUSLY: Your comment included “Doesn’t think about the Austrian LGBT who fought (like the Russian LGBT are doing now) to gain the rights she takes for granted. Marriage. Protection under law. As long as it’s not affecting her directly she’ll say nothing.”

    Let me just point out that these two statements are inconsistent with each other. However, if she saw Austrians get those rights in spite of whatever opposition there was, she just might think the same thing will happen in Russia. It sounds plausible in a naive sort of way and with all the time she has to spend training, she probably isn’t spending a lot of time reading up on all the issues.

  17. mike128 says

    People assume that given “time” things will get better for LGBT people everywhere. This is a bad assumption. As a minority group, we have to fight for each other and do everything we can to assure that human rights are respected everywhere. We cannot assume that the world always moves in the direction of fairness… and it certainly does not look like it will be the case in Putin’s Russia.

  18. says

    @Bill
    ‘she probably isn’t spending a lot of time reading up on all the issues’

    So then did she say ‘I’m not up on the issues, no comment’ or did she say “I don’t think it’s a good idea to make protests here, no one cares.”
    Did she profess ignorance of the issues or make a statement of judgement on those issues?

    Read the article for what she is quoted as saying and stop offering lame excuses that have nothing to do with what actually transpired.

    ‘if she saw Austrians get those rights in spite of whatever opposition there was, she just might think the same thing will happen in Russia’ You excuse this as ‘plausible naivety’ I call it privileged ignorance. If she had participated at all in the Austrian struggle for equality she’d know how important every voice in support is.

    This battle is hard enough with everyone pitching in and fighting together. It’s doubly hard when a member of our own community in a position to help speaks against our efforts and says ‘no one cares’.

  19. Mark Twain says

    Ha! ha! ha! ha!!!! what a tool, reminds me of the hawaian lesbian representatitve who voted against same sex marriage because she heard the opponents case…makes you wonder if they share a common ancestor.

  20. American Dreamer says

    Why are you guys so desperate to force these men and women to make a statement?

    They are proving gays are equal just by winning medals.

    These games are not meant to be politica.

  21. stranded says

    I know it’s hard for a lot of people to understand, but not all LGBT public figures are by default advocates, nor should they be expected to. Has anybody thought that she’s simply not a people’s person or good at giving speeches? Some people are very uncomfortable when assigned with the task of speaking in public and are very much afraid to say the wrong thing. A lot of people just don’t want to let others down, and end up falling flat on their efforts to please them or to represent a cause that they care about. All I’m saying is that not everybody is born to be an advocate or has the presence of Sir Ian Mckellen. I think she means well, and there are many other ways in which she can or already has shown her support. We just don’t know.

  22. wct says

    “Has anybody thought that she’s simply not a people’s person or good at giving speeches…”

    Then she should have said “no comment”…two very simple words.

    If you can’t remember that, then she might not want to talk to the press.

  23. Ken says

    With people like this in the gay community who needs enemies? She’s like a Jew supporting the Nazi party. I would have though that an Austrian would understand that. Apparently not. It’s really a case of “I’m all right Jack so screw LGBT people who are being persecuted in Russia.” Selfish b*tch.

  24. Michaelandfred says

    I’m curious if we’ll see her and her wife embracing and kissing in front of the cameras if she wins like I’ve already seen straight winners do? No? Oh right…that would be making a “political statement” and endangering children. You and your wife are having no problems because for all practical purposes you have to go back into the closet to not end up in jail or disqualified from your event.

    The very statement that “nobody cares”…….

  25. johnny says

    She’s an out skier who openly stated she has a wife. That in itself is enough, considering she’s not really a GAY SPOKESPERSON/PROTESTER like almost everyone commenting here apparently is.

    Was the “nobody cares” line a misstep? Yes, but speaking extemporaneously is not an easy thing, she didn’t have a prepared statement.

    I think you guys are being a bit over-the-top harsh on this woman. Not everyone was born with the “OUT PROUD PROTEST” gene.

    Is everyone who is gay and at the Olympics speaking out? No. Are some? Yes. And that’s really what’s important. But I guess the more vicious of you commenting won’t be satisfied with that. And I think it’s a bit of “baiting” that this story was run.

  26. james st. james says

    The criticism is way over done. Just being who she is is enough of a contribution to gay rights. If she wins a medal, even better. Good luck to her.

    When she said no one cares I think she was just referring to the Olympic venue where everyone is concentrated on the sports.

    It’s OK to be gay and still have a life that includes other interests.

  27. Michael says

    What a total hypocrite she is. Yes lets keep seeing gay people like Johnny Weir keep making idiotic self absorbed and selfish comments like this. This is utterly pathetic period.

  28. Wittand says

    Considering that the IOC told the Norwegian cross-country skier team off for wearing a black ribbon because a team member´s relative died, her stance is understandable.

    Also it is true that a protest would not be seen by anyone who truly matters for the situation of Russian GLBT, the Russian TV would simply edit it out , like they did with the problems during the opening ceremony.

    But I guess it´s easy to criticize people from the comfort of one´s own computer keyboard when you have nothing at stake.

  29. unokhan says

    she’s right, of course. gay athletes will need to make their sochi statements the jesse owens way — by bringing home medals. historically, deeds speak louder than identity politics drama. john carlos waited to raise his fist until he was on the podium with a gold around his neck.

  30. Hank says

    Oh my goodness, the hatred and intolerance in these comments is so terrible. This is a young woman whose life goal has been to ski jump in the Olympics. That is a wonderful and honorable goal, and it is coming true for her at these Olympic Games, which are including women’s ski jumping for the first time, largely due to the petitioning and advocacy of athletes like Irashki-Stolz and her national ski federation. What a great and historic breakthrough for women in sports. She had no control over where the games are hosted this year, and her window of realistic participation may be closing, as she is now 30 years old. She is openly and proudly gay, but in the specific context of this event, she is first and foremost an athlete. She is not a politician, a public relations director, or a lobbyist. She is an amateur athlete. Can’t she just be a great ski jumper who wants to try for an Olympic medal, and we’ll leave it at that? Why can’t she just concentrate on fulfilling her athletic dreams? No, these commentators want her to be ashamed of her participation in a “privileged” and expensive sport (such a mean-spirited, ludicrous contention!), and join a political protest or boycott of the event. That’s unfair. Some label her an Austrian fascist. Shame on you. Did I cringe when I read some of her comments? Of course I did. (Although, naturally, the most controversial soundbite was excised from her overall remarks and posted as the sensational header for this blog post. After reading the entirety of her comments, I get a different sense of her meaning.) All of us have a responsibility to our communities, but she has every right to feel this is not the time or the place for her to focus her attention away from competition and onto gay rights politics. She is there as an athlete and has commented that her personal experience in Russia has not been a bad one. Is that so terrible? It seems like most of you would rather she be personally subjected to some sort of discrimination, discomfort, mistreatment or injustice so that she would have reason to protest and rally for the cause. Apparently that’s not been the case for her. So don’t judge this person for not making the Olympics the type of political occasion that you wish she would, or that you would if you were there instead of her. She doesn’t owe you that. She owes it to herself and to the people around her — who may have sacrificed a lot to get her there — to do as good a job as a ski jumper as she can manage. And she is worthy of forgiveness for making comments that may not have been well-considered. She’s even worthy of forgiveness if her comments WERE well considered. People make mistakes. All of us do. The vicious lynch mob commenting on this post allows no room for error! As for me, I am rooting for her hyphenized name, bearing the surname of her same-sex spouse, to appear on the leader board.

  31. Sam says

    Therefore with all the heated previous comments, three-time Dutch Lesbian gold medal speed skater Ireen Wust was smart for not commenting to the media except for “the relief is immense and the satisfaction even greater”.

  32. Bill says

    @SERIOUSLY : Let me suggest you pick up a newspaper and read the “letters to the editor,” which will make it painfully obvious that not being familiar with the issues does not stop people from commenting. In some cases they are so clueless as to not realize that they are clueless, and suggesting that someone is clueless to that level is not making excuses for them.

    Your term “plausible naivety” didn’t reflect what I was saying, which was that she spouted without thinking things through. I saw a letter in a local rag this morning by some moron who tried to explain Russia’s current homophobic policy as being motivated by needing more people, but didn’t claim to like the policy, merely that he understood the cause. It never occurred to him to check Russia’s adoption policy, which allows some foreign adoptions but prohibits them from countries that do not have a bilateral agreement with Russia and that do not have a ban on same-sex marriage. If they wanted more babies in Russia, they would ban all foreign adoptions.

    You also don’t know if a reporter dragged a statement out of her by being persistent in an interview. That sometimes happens, and you can’t even tell from a TV clip due to editing.

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