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Straight athlete wears rainbow flag on shoe at World Championship

Iceland’s Gudjon Valur champions inclusion.

Olympics Day 12 - Handball
Gudjon Valur leads Iceland in handball and championing inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans and intersex people.
Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Iceland’s handball player Guðjón Valur (try saying that 10 times fast) is wearing a rainbow flag on his shoe at the World Championships this week in support of the LGBT community. Valur, who is straight, said he just wants to support inclusion and acceptance.

I’m simply all for equality,” Valur said, according to GayIceland. “Having two teenage daughters I’m very much aware of gender bias and other discrimination but as I’ve said before: gender, skin color, religion or sexual orientation should always be irrelevant.

“I’m not trying to gain attention or be flaunted as a hero and I know there are those that say sports shouldn’t be mixed with political agenda. I don’t want the whole focus to shift to this small thing because I’m here to do my best for the team. I’m an athlete first and foremost but if I can pull my weight by showing my support in public then I’m happy to do so.”

He apparently got the idea from Swedish handball star Johan Jepson, who has worn a rainbow band on his arm. Armbands are disallowed from competition at the World Championship. Thus, the flag-adorned shoe.

Thanks to Valur for showing his support of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex and other people around the world who struggle for equality!

To read the full story and see the shoes, head over to GayIceland.is.