Podcast: Blake Skjellerup speaks out against Olympic boycott

Blake Skjellerup readies for training - Facebook

The speed skater explains why a boycott is a terrible idea and why there is virtually no chance of the Russian government harassing him.

Openly gay speed skater Blake Skjellerup is hoping to make his second New Zealand Olympic team later this year and compete in the Sochi Winter Games in early 2014. But if some LGBT activists get their way, he will be barred from competing due to an Olympic boycott they are demanding.

Skjellerup thinks a boycott is a terrible way to address the anti-gay policies of the Russian government. Instead, he wants to compete as an openly gay athlete and be a beacon of hope for persecuted LGBT Russians. Plus, intends to wear a rainbow-flag pin that will be beyond reproach by the IOC.

While some activists are demanding the boycott for Skjellerup's safety, he thinks there's an extremely low risk that the Russian government will take any action against him or any other gay Olympians. He explains why the structure of the Olympic Village makes it even less likely.

We also couldn't help but ask him about those very tasteful, revealing photos he recently starred in as part of a magazine photo shoot.

Listen: Outsports podcast July 24, 2013 - Interview with Olympic speed skater Blake Skjellerup

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