In a recent interview, Australian diver Matthew Mitcham, who won a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, has spoke out on Russia's anti-gay law and its effects on the forthcoming 2014 Winter Olympic Games in the Russian city of Sochi.
Mitcham is one of the few out gay Olympic athletes, and he is very concerned about Russia's anti-gay legislation, and how it could affect LGBT people who attend the 2014 winter games, not only athletes, also journalists or spectators.
Mitcham said: "It's really sad, the way they are persecuting people in Russia is quite horrific". And he added: "The Olympics is the best experience you will ever have as an athlete. Their whole memory and experience is going to be marred by this stuff. They are going to be made to feel unacceptable, inappropriate, and it is a really awful, awful feeling".
Remember, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said it had received assurances from the Russian government that the anti-gay legislation would not apply to Olympic athletes and visitors during the games. But Russia's Sports Minister, Vitaly Mutko, was quick to refute that and declared the Olympic athletes and everyone who travel to Russia have to obey the new law or, otherwise, they will be arrested.
Incomprehensibly, Australian Olympic Committee spokesman, Mike Tancred, said they supported the IOC's statement but would encourage their athletes to respect Russian law.
Is this a new Olympic Spirit Mr. Tancred?
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