39 Winter Olympians in Sochi who support gay rights

Gabriel Landeskog of Team Sweden and the Colorado Avalanche has spoken out for the You Can Play Project - Nick Laham

Here is a list of Winter Olympians competing in Sochi who have stood up for gay rights. Some have spoken out directly against Russia's new anti-gay laws, while others have talked about gay issues in the past. Many of the NHL players in the Olympics have appeared in videos for the You Can Play Project, which seeks to make hockey a welcoming place for openly gay players. Others have spoken out as part of the Principle 6 campaign.

This list does not include the seven openly gay Winter Olympians. It is unknown whether the people on the list below are all straight allies, or include some LGBT athletes who have not yet made their sexual orientation known publicly.

I imagine I may have missed some people, so if you know of someone who needs to be included, please email me at: kandreeky@gmail.com. This list will be updated accordingly.


Hockey
Dustin Brown, Team USA
Brooks Orpik, Team USA
Ryan Kesler, Team USA
James Van Riemsdyk, Team USA
David Backes, Team USA
Zach Parise, Team USA
Sidney Crosby, Team Canada
Robert  Luongo, Team Canada
Carey Price, Team Canada
Duncan Keith, Team Canada
Shea Weber, Team Canada
Rick Nash, Team Canada
Corey Perry, Team Canada
Steve Stamkos, Team Canada
Tuomo Ruutu, Team Finland
Henrik Lundqvist, Team Sweden
Daniel Alfredsson, Team Sweden
Gabriel Landeskog, Team Sweden
Henrik Sedin, Team Sweden
Henrik Zetterberg, Team Sweden
Ole Kristian Tollefsen, Team Norway

What they have said:
"Awful, just awful," Henrik Zetterberg said about the gay laws. "I think that everyone should be able to be themselves. It's unbelievable that it can be this way in this time, especially in a big country like Russia."

"As an American who believes in the freedoms that we have and the way we run our society and culture, everyone has their right to participate in sports and live their lifestyle the way that they want. I’m supportive of anyone," David Backes said. "I don’t care if you’re black, white, green, purple, gold, as long as you’re committed to the team aspect and the way that we’re playing you’re always welcome on my team."

Figure Skating
Ashley Wagner, Team USA
Jeremy Abbott, Team USA

What they have said:
"I have such a firm stance on this that we should all have equal rights," said Wagner, the two-time national champion. "I obviously don't support the legislation in Russia, but at the same time it's not my place to go into Russia and tell them how to run their country, I'm just an athlete. But I believe the best way you can really show your support for your community is to speak about it. I do think the Olympics are an opportunity for us as athletes to go in and show what we can do with our sport."

Said Abbott: "I don’t care what people assume about me, whether or not I am gay or straight. Ultimately I think it has no baring on the conversation," he wrote to Buzzfeed. "I’m an ally and I believe everyone should be supportive of human rights."

Downhill Skiing
Bode Miller, Team USA
Felix Neureuther, Team Germany
Mike Janyk, Team Canada

What they have said:
"I think it is absolutely embarrassing there are countries and people who are that intolerant or that ignorant," Miller said. "It's not the first time. We have been dealing with human rights issues since there were humans. My main emotion when I hear and deal with situations like that is embarrassment. As a human being, I think it is embarrassing."

"I said that I was concerned about the human rights situation in Russia, that everything was not right and that the IOC should check how and where they award the Games," Neureuther said.
"That's what the Olympics are all about. They are there to have fun, to show the great side of humanity that sport brings out and to support anyone from any race or sexual orientation," Janyk said.

Snowboarding
Elena Hight, Team USA
Mercedes Nicoll, Team Canada
Alex Duckworth (Team Canada)
Simona Meiler (Team Switzerland)

What they have said:
"I think it’s really sad what’s happening over there," Hight said. "It’s good that it’s bringing light to the subject and for us as athletes it’s giving us the opportunity to share our opinions.

Biathlon
Rosanna Crawford (Team Canada)

What she has said: "If you feel like this is something important to you, spread the word, educate your self and don't sit back and think it's not your problem because they are on the other side of the World. We are very lucky to live in Canada and get the freedom we have."

Bobsled

Elana Meyers, Team USA
Heath Spence, Team Australia
Duncan Harvey, Team Australia
Lucas Mata, Team Australia
Gareth Nichols, Team Australia
Anthony Ryan, Team Australia
Jana Pittman, Team Australia
Astrid Radjenovic, Team Australia

What they have said:
"We’re here to compete whether you’re gay, straight, what have you. We’re all on team USA and trying to represent our country," Meyers said.

"We’re against discrimination in sport, full stop," said Spence, captain of the Australian bobsled team, which is being sponsored by the Principle 6 campaign. "That means we also oppose discrimination against gay and lesbian athletes."

"We don’t just believe that on principle — some of our most loyal supporters have been gay," Heath said. "They’ve supported us, so it would be hypocritical of us not to support them. All of us bobsledders are the biggest, the strongest, the fastest athletes in the Winter Olympics. And there’s two or four of us jammed into a sled. If we can support gay rights, why can’t everybody else?

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