Openly Gay Olympic Figure Skater Johnny Weir Urges No Olympic Boycott

July 25, 2013 11:57 AM10 comments

Two-time Olympic figure skating competitor, openly gay Johnny Weir urged in his weekly column today that there be no boycott of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia next February to protest the recent escalation of Russian anti-gay measures.

Weir, a three-time U.S. men’s figure skating champion who competed for the United State in the 2006 Winter games in Torino, Italy and again in the 2010 games in Vancouver, Canada, states in his column published today exclusively for the Falls Church News-Press (on fcnp.com):

“The fact that Russia is arresting my people, and openly hating a minority and violating human rights all over the place is heartbreaking and a travesty of international proportions. … I respect the LGBT community full heartedly, but I implore the world not to boycott the Olympic Games because of Russia’s stance on LGBT rights or lack thereof.”

He added, “I beg the gay athletes not to forget their missions and fight for a chance to dazzle the world. … Olympics are history, and they do not represent their host, they represent the world entire. People make their own futures, and should a government or sponsor steal that future, whether it be a Russian government or American government, it is, as an athlete, the death and total demolition of a lifetime of work. Support the athletes.”

He said that he intends to compete, despite the risks involved with being openly gay in Russia, next February if he qualifies. “There isn’t a police officer or a government that, should I qualify, could keep me from competing at the Olympics.”

  • Debbie

    I agree wholeheartedly, Johnny.

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  • EyeJelly

    Go win that gold medal, Johnny, and then go wave it in Putin’s face. You could be this century’s Jesse Owens.

    • usorthem3

      If he is allowed to live being that Putin’s call for open killing season on anyone gay in Russia. Is a medal worth a life? He might just find out.

  • usorthem3

    The IOC can not protect any gay athlete in Russia. To are naive to think they can or will. Remember Munich 1972 when those athletes thought they were safe too until they were kidnapped and murdered in the Olympic village. No gay person is safe in Russia now that Putin has made it law that killing them is better. Boycott all products from Russia. Let them drink their own vodka and drown in their hatred and ignorance.

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  • countervail

    Sports, especially the Olympics, has the opportunity to right civil wrongs, to show equality, a platform for opportunity and change but that doesn’t happen without the best intention of the host country and the Olympic committee. Johnny Weir is not unbiased toward Russia, from his long-standing relationships with his Russian coaches and brazen embrace of all things Russia, including his Russian-American husband (wasn’t he once considering Russian citizenship?), but he has all of that from the liberties of America and the regular people that came before him fighting tooth and nail for equality. Regular Russian LGBT people don’t have those things. They have a president and parliament fully against the civil rights of LGBT people and willing to imprison advocates for those people. There is so little that will allow change and progress in one of the largest countries in the world now. And with his statement, Johnny Weir has effectively condoned that activity, putting his own career and that of other athletes ahead of basic human rights.

    I say we should fully endorse Johnny Weir attending the Sochi Olympics and to be as gay as he wants to, providing that if Russia chooses to detain, arrest and even imprison him, he waives his right of protection from the United States government and forfeits all outstanding fees owed to him by sponsors and events. Good luck Johnny!

  • Jennifer

    I completely understand where he’s coming from, but as a member of the LGBT community I’d do anything to avoid setting foot in Russia right now. And I’m worried for him, should he go.

  • Heroic Hal

    I’m sure millions of oppressed Russians would all agree: “What? Don’t stay home from the Olympics on our account. Your pursuit of personal glory and your fake show of symbolic unity are MUCH more important than our safety, our freedom, and our lives.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1301564078 Tom Kidd

    Dear Johnny Weir, you wonderful, beautiful, brave fool: I love you but you don’t get a second chance once you’re dead. You are no mas, no more. Those evil bastards over there have no compunction whatsoever in doing LGBTQ folk in. Check out the gruesome videos and you’ll see what I mean.

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