Two-time Olympic figure skater, three-time US National Champion, openly gay Johnny Weir has responded to calls to boycott the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia next February to protest the recent escalation of Russian anti-gay measures.
"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," Weir wrote in his column published in the Falls Church News-Press. "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."Weir, a three-time U.S. men's figure skating champion who competed for the United States in the 2006 Winter games in Torino, Italy and again in the 2010 games in Vancouver, Canada, hopes to quality for the Winter Olympics set to begin Feb. 6."There isn't a police officer or a government that, should I quality, could keep me from competing at the Olympics," Weir said.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."NBC likely to cover Russia's anti-gay laws during Winter OlympicsNBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus said NBC would provide coverage of Russia's anti-gay laws if the controversial measures surface as an issue during the upcoming Winter Olympics, according to the Los Angeles Times.Editor's Note:
Johnny Weir is one of 25 athletes to be inducted
into the inaugural class of the newly minted National Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame on Fri., Aug. 2 at Center on Halsted