Svetlana Sochi Says Gay Rights Protests of Olympics Are Silly

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Wednesday Feb 5, 2014

Former speed skating gold medal winner and current Sochi mountain Olympic Village mayor Svetlana Zhurova says protestors shouldn't use the Games as an excuse to protest gay rights issues in Russia.

In a recent article on Reuters, Zhurova said that it "doesn't make sense" for people to protest the Olympic Games, which open on Friday, because of Russia's law banning the spread of gay propaganda to minors.

"We are all participants of the Games and we are going to applaud the straight people and the homosexuals just like the previous Olympic Games," said Zhurova. "For the spectators, it is more important who wins than whether they are homosexual or not."

But The BBC reports that protestors have more jeers than cheers for President Vladimir Putin's law, which effectively makes any kind of public gay rights gathering in Russia a crime.

In a recent EDGE article, Zhurova told Russian TV channel Dozhd that she "voted to stop people promoting [the gay lifestyle] to minors," adding that many European politicians and Russian celebrities privately supported the law, but had been told by their sponsors to keep quiet about it.

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


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