Olympian Johnny Weir Says Russian Olympic Boycott Is Misguided
Thursday, August 01, 2013
U.S. Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir said he opposes boycotts to protest Russia's new anti-gay law because it hurts athletes and ordinary people.
Gay rights advocates are pushing for a boycott Russian products such as vodka and are considering calling for a boycott against the 2014 Winter Olympics set to take place in Sochi, Russia.
But in his regular column for The Falls Church News-Press, Weir implores gay athletes to go to the Olympics and "dazzle the world." He told WNYC that boycotting the Olympics is an ineffective way of changing Russian policy. He said he hopes his presence in the country will be a sign of support for gays and lesbians in Russia.
"Should I be arrested, should my life be threatened, I know I'll be there for a purpose," he told WNYC.
Weir married his husband, who is of Russian descent, in New York on New Year's Eve 2011.
"I've never thought of the Olympics as a political statement," Weir said. "I really think a boycott ... is in the wrong as far as the athletes are concerned."
To hear Host Amy Eddings' full conversation with Johnny Weir, click on the audio above.