Queer Nation condemns Dutch Speed Skater for cuddle with Putin
Gay activist group, Queer Nation, has condemned Olympic athlete Ireen Wust for ‘having a cuddle” with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The openly bisexual athlete, who scored a gold medal at the Sochi Olympics on February 9, said she met Putin at a party in her honour after she won the Gold in the 3000m event.
According to ABC news, Wust boasted she got a hug from Putin.
"He congratulated me and asked if everything was OK in Russia and I congratulated him on (Russian speed skater) Olga Graf, of course, for her third place (in the 3,000 meters). He was happy to see me, but then he had to leave again. But I cuddled him."
Queer Nation has condemned Wust’s actions, saying she has shown solidarity to a man who has trampled on the rights of LGBTI citizens
“The Olympic athletes have said that they will not make political statements during the Games yet that is exactly what Ireen Wust did,” said Duncan Osborne, a member of Queer Nation. “By embracing Vladimir Putin, a man who has trampled on the human rights of LGBT Russians, political dissidents, artists, undocumented immigrants, and others in Russia, Wust has endorsed his fascist agenda.”
As the Olympics opened in Russia, over 60 activists, including LGBT activists, were arrested in several Russian cities while protesting over a number of issues.
“LGBT Russians and political dissidents are showing us what courage and commitment look like,” said Osborne. “Embracing Vladimir Putin is a betrayal of that courage and commitment. Wust should be ashamed of herself. Every athlete in Sochi should understand that the whole world is watching. We cannot make the athletes show the sort of courage that LGBT Russians display, but we will not be silent and we will not forget if the athletes embrace Putin.”