Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Nick Symmonds Wins Silver Medal In Russia, But Should Be Given The Gold For Being An LGBT Ally

Nick Symmonds, a middle distance runner from the US, won the Silver Medal in the 800-meter at the International Association of Athletics Federations World Championship in Moscow yesterday and then made headlines when, while speaking to RIANovosti—one of the largest news agencies in Russia—and said:
"As much as I can speak out about it, I believe that all humans deserve equality as however God made them. Whether you're gay, straight, black, white, we all deserve the same rights. If there's anything I can do to champion the cause and further it, I will, shy of getting arrested."
He then dedicated his medal to his LGBT friends.

Just saying that could have gotten Symonds tossed out of the country, or even arrested, which may explain why he added:
"I respect Russians' ability to govern their people. I disagree with their laws. I do have respect for this nation. I disagree with their rules."
Nevertheless, Nick Symmonds is the first athlete to criticize Vladimir Putin and Russia’s virulently anti-LGBT laws while standing in that country.

And i think he deserves a Gold Medal just for that.


Ask the Cool Cookie said...

YAY! Good for him. And he said it in a respectful tone. And I LIKE IT that he mentioned "without being arrested." That reminds people that there is something that is very easily at stake, and that this is simply posturing.

NOW the question is, will the Russian people hear this?

Bob Slatten said...


I might be a cynic, but I'm guessing this will go unreported in their homeland. said...

The IOC should take a stand and change the venue.

My fear is that all the LGBT Olympic hoopla is distracting the world from the real problems of LGBT Russians who live in fear of imprisonment every day.

There is far more at stake in Russia than gold medals.

Raybeard said...

I think our Stephen Fry was right when he said that if only a LGTB-supporting medal winner would wear or conspicuously show a rainbow ribbon or small flag on the presentation rostrum it would go viral on YouTube and the like, whether or not the Russian media reported it. I'm still hoping.