Meet Two Openly Gay Athletes Competing at The Winter Olympics
Russia’s anti-gay attitudes and legislation have been on many people’s minds ever since last year when the Russian parliament passed a bill banning "pro-gay propaganda" in the presence of minors. In essence, pro-gay messages in general have been silenced, shoving an entire subset of the Russian population into the shadows. Many people have taken out their anger and frustration on the Winter Olympics, starting this week in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi. People have threatened to boycott multinational sponsors such as McDonalds and Coca-Cola. Others have vowed not to watch the games, which call NBC and its daughter networks home on U.S. television.
But perhaps gay people should watch some of the games, if anything, to root for two openly gay athletes who will be out and proud, defiant in the face of Russian hatred and ignorance. Here are profiles of those athletes.
Event: Snowboard Cross
Hometown: Melbourne, Australia
Belle Brockhoff came out as a show of support and solidarity with gay and lesbian Russians late last year. She has been a snowboarder since she was ten years old and won her first junior national title just three weeks after picking up the snowboard for the first time. She is trained in the parallel giant slalom course but will be competing in Sochi in the boardercross course.