Friday, January 17, 2014

Olympics & Politics

Gay Figure Skater Johnny Weir says he's "caught in a “crossfire of hate and scrutiny” for his stand on Russia's anti-gay laws 
LYNDHURST –  Johnny Weir told REUTERS from his home in northern New Jersey Thursday that he has been caught up "in a crossfire" for not backing a boycott of the 2014 Sochi Olympic games in the wake of Russia's anti-gay laws.
"I've come under so much hate and scrutiny from within my own LGBT community for my views on the Olympics. But as somebody who watched my parents sacrifice everything so that I had at least one chance of making the Olympics, I could never boycott the Olympics whether they be in Pyongyang (in North Korea), in Uganda, in Iran or Mars.
I would have competed there because my whole life has been about going to the Olympics. Being gay isn't something that I chose, being gay is something I was born into.
[…] The entire Olympic team is not made up of LGBT people. It's people who've sacrificed their livelihoods, it's people who've sacrificed their parents' finances and health and sometimes even marriages to get that one chance at glory.
As an athlete who's lived it, I could never turn my face to that. While equality is necessary all over the world, the Olympics is not the place for me to make a stand."  
Weir took aim at the LGBTQ equality activists telling the wire service;
"There is this pre-conceived notion by many of these activist groups who think that the Olympics are a place to make change and it's a place to have your story heard and it's a place to fight for the LGBT community of Russia,” Weir said. 
"I see the Olympics strictly as a sporting event and not a political event. I see the Olympics for what they are - it's young people performing for their country and for glory. That's how I see the Olympics, I don't see them as a political protest."
He will be attending the games as a commentator for NBC Sports.