Queer Nation Denounces Bisexual Olympic Gold Medalist Ireen Wüst for ‘Cuddling’ Putin

Yesterday we reported that Dutch speedskater Ireen Wüst, who is bisexual, won gold at the Sochi Games and afterward "cuddled" with Putin, according to Dutch media reports.

I-wustMembers of the activist group Queer Nation are condemning Wüst.

Via press relase:

“The Olympic athletes have said that they will not make political statements during the Games yet that is exactly what Ireen Wust did,” said Duncan Osborne, a member of Queer Nation. “By embracing Vladimir Putin, a man who has trampled on the human rights of LGBT Russians, political dissidents, artists, undocumented immigrants, and others in Russia, Wust has endorsed his fascist agenda.”

Citing a report from Dutch television network NOS, ABC News reported on February 10 that Wust met Putin at a party in her honor after she won gold in the 3,000 meter event on February 9.

"I got a cuddle from him," said Wust, who has been identified in published reports as an out lesbian, according to ABC News. "He congratulated me and asked if everything was OK in Russia and I congratulated him on (Russian speed skater) Olga Graf, of course, for her third place (in the 3,000 meters). He was happy to see me, but then he had to leave again. But I cuddled him."

As the Olympics opened in Russia, over 60 activists, including LGBT activists, were arrested in several Russian cities while protesting over a number of issues.

“LGBT Russians and political dissidents are showing us what courage and commitment look like,” said Osborne. “Embracing Vladimir Putin is a betrayal of that courage and commitment. Wust should be ashamed of herself. Every athlete in Sochi should understand that the whole world is watching. We cannot make the athletes show the sort of courage that LGBT Russians display, but we will not be silent and we will not forget if the athletes embrace Putin.”