Gay at the Games: Historic Silver Medal; Americans Not Pleased With Luge Ad
BY Michelle Garcia
February 12 2014 2:01 PM ET
Gay ski jumper Daniela Iraschko-Stolz is taking a silver medal home to Austria after making history in the first Olympic women's ski jumping event Tuesday. German jumper Carina Vogt won gold for the historic event, and Coline Mattel of France won the bronze medal.
“I’m so excited the sport is in the Olympic Games now, and we have really, really competition, and everyone can see women can do really good ski jump,” Iraschko-Stolz told the The New York Times.
Women ski jumpers sued for the right to compete at the Vancouver games in 2010. The case went to the Supreme Court of Canada, which refused to hear an appeal, but the International Olympic Committee declared the following year that the field for women's ski jumping was competitive enough for the event to be included in the Olympics.
An American luger said he wasn't quite so pleased with the fun Canadian public service announcement that was being passed around online a couple of days ago.
In case you missed it, the video by the Canadian Institute of Diversity pokes fun at the intimacy of two-man luge, and the tagline is "The Games have always been a little gay. Let's fight to keep it that way."
American Olympian Christian Niccum thought it was a cheap joke around his sport.
“They’re making fun of our sport for their cause and it doesn’t really make a lot of sense to me,” Niccum told reporters. “If I were to go hug my dad and someone took a picture and showed it in really slow motion, they could use it in a video like that and that’s just ridiculous. It’s my dad. Can’t we show affection to each other without it being some sort of sexual contact? This is sports. It’s the same thing. Why does it have to be like that?”
Meanwhile, Preston Griffall, another American luger, said the jokes come with the territory of the sport.
"We're two dudes, laying on top of each other in spandex," he told the Times. "Of course people are going to make fun of it."
Bucsis Takes the Long View
Canadian speed skater Anastasia Bucsis placed 28th out of 34 competitors in the 500-meter short track competition, but she was feeling pretty good about her performance nonetheless.
"I think I did the best that I could," she told the Toronto Star. "And honestly, I think I've never said that in my entire life. Or maybe one other time."
Bucsis had battled with clinical depression and come out, all within the last year.
“At first I thought kind of naively, ‘OK, well, I’ve been diagnosed with this disease. This is a part of my life. Let’s just smile and think happy thoughts.’ It’s not like that,” she said. “I’ve had to work on things in my personal life, and just how I approach speed skating in general, and I’m happy to say that it does get better. I had so much fun. I can’t remember the last time I had fun like that today.”
Now There's Proof
Not everyone was pleased to hear that bisexual speed skater Ireen Wüst shared a hug with President Vladimir Putin, whose anti-LGBT laws have been the talk of Sochi and these Olympic games. Just in case you needed to see Vlad hug a bisexual athlete while wearing an orange warm-up suit, here it is (h/t Towleroad):
Not everyone was pleased with Team USA's ugly Christmas sweater getup at the Opening Ceremonies last week, but clap it up for Team Norway's curling outfits. They are stellar (and on some days, Mondrian).
Well, in an act of protest over the IOC's handling of Russia's antigay law, the team decided to go pantless.