Swedish Athletes Don Rainbow Nails at Moscow World Championships

Two Swedish athletes took a subtle stand for equality at the world championships in Moscow, while a Russian gold medalist said she supports the suppression of LGBT identities.

BY Sunnivie Brydum

August 15 2013 4:14 PM ET

At least two Swedish athletes competed at the track and field world championships in Moscow this week while wearing rainbow nail polish, according to Sports Illustrated.

High jumper Emma Green Tregaro posted a photo of her technicolor nails to Instagram Thursday, adding the caption "Nails painted in the colors of the rainbow. #pride #Moscow2013"

Speaking to Swedish news venue TT, Tregaro confirmed that she was taking a subtle stance against Russia's virulently anti-LGBT policies that impose fines and possible jail time for anyone disseminating "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations."

"This is to show what I stand for," Tregaro told TT. "I think sports are about respecting and tolerating each other, so I thought it was a nice gesture." 

Also, Team Sweden sprinter Moa Hjelmer painted her nails in the colors of the rainbow when she ran the 200-meter dash on Thursday. 

But not all athletes at the world championships in Moscow took such a pro-equality stance. Russian pole vaulter and three-time world champion Yelena Isinbayeva said she agreed with her home nation's ban on discussing LGBT identities and issues. 

"If we allow to promote and do all this stuff on the street, we are very afraid about our nation because we consider ourselves like normal, standard people,'' said Isinbayeva, a two-time Olympic champion who will serve as a mayor of the Olympic Village in Sochi next year, according to Sports Illustrated. "We just live with boys with woman, woman with boys. Everything must be fine. It comes from history. We never had any problems, these problems in Russia, and we don't want to have any in the future.''

Tags: Sports

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