Russian gold medalists kiss on podium to protest anti-gay laws

Maggie Hendricks | Fourth-Place Medal, Yahoo! New Zealand Sport August 19, 2013, 6:41 pm

Kseniya Ryzhova and Tatyana Firov won a world championship as a part of the 4x400m relay team at the IAAF track championships in Moscow.

They edged out the American and British teams for the gold. While on the medal stand, they kissed to protest their own country's anti-gay propaganda laws.

This isn't the first protest of Russia's laws that penalize anyone for talking about homosexuality in front of children, but it's the most visible one done by Russian athletes.

U.S. runner Nick Symmonds dedicated his silver medal in the 800m to his gay friends back home, and Swedish high jumper Emma Green Tregaro painted her nails in a rainbow in honor of LGBT pride.

Russian pole-vaulting legend Yelena Isinbayva criticized Tregaro for her protest.

"We consider ourselves, like normal, standard people, we just live boys with women, girls with boys... it comes from the history," Isinbayeva said.

Related: Isinbayeva warns athletes to respect anti-gay law

Later, she said her comments were misunderstood because English isn't her first language. She regularly speaks English to reporters.

"But let me make it clear I respect the views of my fellow athletes, and let me state in the strongest terms that I am opposed to any discrimination against gay people on the grounds of their sexuality (which is against the Olympic charter)."

The words spoken by Isinbayeva are not nearly as powerful as the protest of two young women kissing on the medal stand.

Related: Coe rejects Sochi boycott suggestion

One of the reasons many LGBT sports leaders are against a boycott of the upcoming Olympics in Sochi, Russia, is because more can be accomplished by LGBT athletes and their allies standing atop the medal stand with pride. Ryzhova and Firov put that idea into action in Moscow.

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25 Comments

  1. Bruce Cagey08:26am Wednesday 21st August 2013 NZSTReport Abuse

    Would it have caused such a ruckus if they both werent hot?

    Reply
  2. 10:35am Tuesday 20th August 2013 NZSTReport Abuse

    LOL aside from this "anti distibution o0f propaganda to minors", exactly what is so bad about Russia's gay laws? They're no different to the west's laws not so long ago...

    Reply
  3. Max09:18am Tuesday 20th August 2013 NZSTReport Abuse

    If GAYS are supposedly "like everyone else" why do they think they need to keep shoving their " gayness" in our faces every chance they get? Effeminate males and butch females in particular. Why don't they just get on with life ,after all their sexuality behind closed doors is their business so we are continually being told?

    Reply
  4. Paul08:17am Tuesday 20th August 2013 NZSTReport Abuse

    i have seen lots of women kiss each other, it doesnt mean they are gay so stop claiming every act as gay-sick of gay people claiming they are hard done by

    Reply
  5. Chris08:08am Tuesday 20th August 2013 NZSTReport Abuse

    looks like the gulag cummin up for those girls

    Reply
  6. R07:18am Tuesday 20th August 2013 NZSTReport Abuse

    more girls that kiss the better looks much better than two blokes kissing that's for sure.

    Reply
  7. NF06:50am Tuesday 20th August 2013 NZSTReport Abuse

    Does the law in Russia allow women to kiss one another?

    Reply
  8. Mrsax06:28am Tuesday 20th August 2013 NZSTReport Abuse

    Just another sensationalist lie. They were not protesting for anything. Simply gave a kiss to each other after they won. Check it out on youtube video. It was like half a second kiss. It's normal in russia.

    Reply
  9. jerry03:47am Tuesday 20th August 2013 NZSTReport Abuse

    US should stop meddling in others affairs and have look in their backyard for human rights..........

    Reply
  10. Paul02:26am Tuesday 20th August 2013 NZSTReport Abuse

    She was mis understood...end of story...let her be and find some real news...

    Reply

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