With the 2014 Sochi Olympics less than six months away, outrage over Russia’s recent law banning “gay propaganda” has continued to pick up steam. The latest athletes to speak out against the law are Canada’s Mike Janyk and Mercedes Nicoll, both of whom competed in the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics.
Janyk spoke with Reuters about the duo’s participation in the Vancouver Pride Parade this weekend:
Seeing what’s going on in Russia it does feel really cool to at least stand up and hopefully have a few people take notice of that. The opportunity came up to go in the Pride parade as an Olympian and I thought, oh that’s a great idea and then all this other stuff came up and it is even more important now.
Dimitri Soundas of the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) also spoke about Russia’s oppressive law, saying that “playing sports is a human right and should be available to all regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation.” The COC spokesman continued:
Our aim is to showcase athletes in ways highlighting Canada’s values and pride. We believe in the power of sport uniting individuals of all races, genders and sexual orientation. We oppose discrimination of any kind.
We will be keeping you updated as more reactions and protests to the controversial law come in.