Tracking ISU and U.S. Figure Skating Events, Issues and Governance
he new anti-gay law in Russia does not just involve Russian citizens, but concerns gay tourists as well. Essentially, if you are “openly gay”, support gay rights, have a rainbow flag or symbol displayed, you may be arrested, fined or held for 14 days in jail before being deported. All this, from the pen of Vladimir Putin.
Blazing Blades Editorial
For those countries such as Canada where same sex marriage has been legal for over a decade and many couples have adopted the other’s surname and have on their passports declared they are married, this could create problems.
Not the least, it could pose questions and problems for competitors, family and friends of said athlete’s at all future international sporting events. This includes the 2014 Olympic Games as there are openly gay athletes participating from many different countries.
So what is going to happen? Will sexual orientation have a bearing on national federation’s decision as to who to send to Sochi? Could western countries boycott the games? Will openly gay athletes be allowed to participate in the Games or be sent home?
How many athletes who live an openly gay life could now be forced to change their Facebook pages, Twitter and other online accounts and remain silent on their opinions all for the chance to compete in Sochi?
Member nations of the International Skating Union had better have a discussion with the Leadership within each organization as well as the ISU Council leaders concerning this serious issue. I may just be necessary for the ISU to have discussions on the Rostelcom Cup’s future and it’s possible removal from figure skatings’ Grand Prix Series if a legal accommodation cannot be made with the Russian Government on this issue.
Additionally the International Olympic Committee now has a major point of discussion with Mr. Putin and others in the Russian Government and the leadership of all Russian Sports Federations. This may well become a real headache for the Olympic movement and talks better commence, like yesterday, so an understanding can be satisfactorily reached.
Whatever is to happen, If the issue is not dealt with in a satisfactory manner, maybe there should be thousands of small rainbow flags displayed by all the athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics closing ceremony in Sochi.