Aussie snowboarder Belle Brockhoff comes out to take a stand against Russia
Olympic hopeful and world-class snowboarder Belle Brockhoff has come out on ABC’s Lateline to protest Russia’s anti-gay laws.
The 20-year-old told Jason Om competing at the Olympics has been a lifelong dream but confessed if she was to attend the Sochi Olympics she may have to go back into the closet.
“I have a feeling that I would have to kinda go back into the closet a little bit because I don't want to risk my, like, you know, safety, being arrested or deported. I want to be able to compete and live my dream and become an Olympian. That's always what I've wanted to do."
Brockhoff said she found the new Russian laws to be disrespectful and a “little bit sad”.
“I want to be able to be who I am, be proud of who I am and be proud of all the work that has gotten me to the Olympics and not have to deal with this kind of a law.”
Nonetheless Brockhoff told Lateline she planned to show her pride if she was chosen to compete at the games.
“Maybe a little bit of a badge, but, yeah, it's definitely a little bit scary when you think about, like, arrest and deportation, pulling out of events and all that stuff.”
The IOC has sought assurances from Russia that athletes and visitors to the Sochi Olympics will not be affected by the anti-gay laws, however on Friday President Putin signed a decree banning demonstrations during the Olympics and last month four Dutch filmmakers were dteianed and deported under the laws.