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.

BY Michelle Garcia

February 06 2014 8:00 AM ET

Ryan Kesler, hockey, USA
Kesler, who plays for the Vancouver Canucks, is one of the members of the You Can Play project.

 

Full Australian Bobsled Team, Australia
Each of the bobsleds that the Australian team uses will sport an emblem showing support for the Principle 6 campaign, which urges the IOC to update its nondiscrimination clause to specifically protect people on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. “We don’t just believe that on principle — some of our most loyal supporters have been gay,” Heath Spence, captain of the Australian Men’s bobsled team, told BuzzFeed. “They’ve supported us, so it would be hypocritical of us not to support them. All of us bobsledders are the biggest, the strongest, the fastest athletes in the Winter Olympics. And there’s two or four of us jammed into a sled. If we can support gay rights, why can’t everybody else? We’re proud to have the Principle 6 badge on our sleds.”

 

Kleintje Pils, brass band, Netherlands
The Dutch brass band that plays for the Netherlands' Olympic team during speed skating competitions says they are planning to play the Village People's "YMCA" while in Sochi. Band leader Ruud Bakker told the Associated Press that it would be a "signal" to the Russian government.

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