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.”