Diver Greg Louganis, winner of gold medals at the 1984 and 1988 Olympics, spoke out on Friday against Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law that is casting a cloud over the upcoming 2014 Sochi Olympics. Louganis, who was inducted into the National Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame this week, talked about his thoughts on the law in an interview with Kelly Whiteside at USA Today Sports.
Louganis was blunt when asked what he’d say if given the opportunity to chat with Vladimir Putin:
If you had a family member who was gay would you put them in jail? Anti-LGBT laws affect people who are our sons and daughters, our brothers and sisters and our neighbors. If you keep this in your heart and lead, then hopefully the community in Russia will be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.
I can’t begin to imagine what it must be like for a gay athlete in Russia. It was hard enough to compete closeted representing the United States, a country that is considerably evolved on LGBT rights. It is unfathomable to consider what it’s like for the Russian athlete – knowing that if you were to come out you could lose everything you’ve worked your entire life to achieve and then on top of that to be considered a criminal. It is both heartbreaking and heinous.
Louganis said he has no plans on attending the Sochi games.
[Source: USA Today Sports]