Gay at the Games: Billie Jean King Makes Her Mark
BY Michelle Garcia
February 24 2014 3:01 PM ET
King Is On to the Next One
Billie Jean King arrived in Sochi in time for the Olympic closing ceremony, saying the International Olympic Committee should consider a potential host country's laws regarding LGBT citizens when making the decision of where the next games will take place.
"I'm sure they'll be looking at things differently next time," the out tennis icon said, according to the BBC. "Hopefully [IOC president Thomas] Bach and the IOC will think about the next time they give a bid out — I hope that they'll look at discrimination as a big part of it. But no country is perfect. America certainly isn't."
Five for Fighting
Dutch speed skater Ireen Wüst earned her fifth medal at the games with an Olympic record in the women's team pursuit on Saturday. The bisexual skater and the rest of the team from the Netherlands dominated speed skating during the Sochi games, as they won 23 total medals in the sport.
Interestingly, the coach of the Dutch team said Americans pay too much attention to sports such as football "and you waste a lot of talent, on a sport that is meant to kill each other, to injure each other. You're so narrrow-minded, and then you want to compete against the world [in other sports] when you waste a lot of time, good talent on a sport that sucks.”
Costas Brings the Pain
NBC Olympics host Bob Costas has been fairly diligent in addressing human rights atrocities and the antigay sentiment that has prevailed across Russia. While admitting that the games were peaceful on the whole, he warned that it "should not serve to obscure a harsher or more lasting truth. This is still a government which imprisons dissidents, is hostile to gay rights, sponsors and supports a vicious regime in Syria — and that's just a partial list." Costas also sat down with IOC president Thomas Bach to talk about violence in the region (video one) and discrimination (video two).
American figure skaters Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski, with their straight-man counterpart Terry Gannon, made the trek from NBC Sports Network to the broadcast channel's airing of the nonjudged figure skating gala on Saturday night. The duo donned locally grown flowers in their hair for the program, and naturally, Weir added a Chanel brooch.
According to NESN, Lipinski and Weir brought "eight suitcases to Sochi, including ten pounds of jewelry, 22 pairs of shoes, 25 blazers, six pairs of leather pants, nine designer bags and four of Weir’s fur coats."
The Cossack who horsewhipped members of Pussy Riot as the band shot footage for their new music video in Sochi, was reportedly "held accountable" for his actions, according to the Associated Press.
Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Kozak would not share what actions were taken against the attacker, but local media claims he was fined.
Can't Touch This
Jason Brown, the U.S.'s 19-year-old showstopping figure skater, rocked the gala Saturday night with Hammer Pants and some sweet moves.
Uh, the closing ceremony ended Sunday night with a gigantic bear tearfully blowing out the Olympic flame. Just saying.
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