Meet The LGBT Allies Headed to Sochi

There aren't a ton of out LGBT athletes heading to Sochi (far from it), but many allies have made their displeasure with Russia's antigay laws heard.



Sidney Crosby, hockey, Canada
Crosby, one of the NHL's top players, told reporters that he did not support Russia's law. "For me growing up in Canada, my view has always been that way," Crosby said during a news conference to kick off Canada's Olympic camp, according to ESPN. "I think that everyone has an equal right to play and I think we've been supportive of that. With the Olympics and the controversy around that I think those decisions and those laws aren't necessarily something that I agree with personally... their laws and their views."


James van Riemsdyk, hockey, USA
Van Riemsdyk, who plays for the Philadelphia Flyers, is one of the members of the You Can Play project.


Simona Meiler, snowboarding, Switzerland
Meiler was one of the several dozen athletes who signed a letter urging the IOC to ensure that LGBT athletes and spectators will be protected from discrimination at the games by updating Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter to include nondiscrimination guarantees on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.


Mike Janyk, alpine skiing, Canada
In September, Janyk joined Athlete Ally as an ambassador, specifically pushing for inclusion and equal treatment during the Winter Games. "I've had the fortune and freedom to pursue my dreams in sport and have seen first-hand how it brings people from around the world together in the pursuit of love, happiness and excellence,” said Janyk. “If I may enjoy this freedom so should every other human being, with whom I would proudly stand with on any field of play.”