This Figure Skater Thinks Boycotting The Olympics In Russia Is A Bad Idea

“I respect the LGBT community full heartedly, but I implore the world not to boycott the Olympic Games because of Russia’s stance on LGBT rights or lack thereof.” posted on

1. Johnny Weir is an Olympic hopeful for the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Johnny Weir of USA skating during the men’s short program of 2012 Finlandia Trophy Espoo International figure skating competition in Espoo, Finland, Friday Oct. 5, 2012. / AP

He is an out figure skater.

2. In light of the anti-gay laws and actions in Russia recently, some have called for a boycott of the winter Olympics.

Image by Dmitry Lovetsky / AP

3. However, Weir does not agree with those requests, and for very personal reasons.


I watched my family struggle to make ends meet, endure personal struggles with raising an Olympian and often times forgo their own happiness so that I could have a chance at my dreams. When I qualified for my first Olympic Games, my family sold one of our cars to be sure that my mother, father and brother could attend the event and see me skate for the world. […] To have a boycott would not only negate the career of some athletes who have only one chance at competing at the Games, but also the over-time shifts an exhausted father takes to make ends meet, or the social acclimatization of a brother who can’t go on spring break because his brother needed another costume, or the mother who works part-time at a job far beneath her, just so she can afford to watch her first born perform for the world.

Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images

5. He understands the severity of the laws in Russia, but does not think that’s a reason to boycott.


The fact that Russia is arresting my people, and openly hating a minority and violating Human Rights all over the place is heartbreaking and a travesty of international proportions, but I still will compete. […] I respect the LGBT community full heartedly, but I implore the world not to boycott the Olympic Games because of Russia’s stance on LGBT rights or lack thereof.

Stringer China / Reuters

7. Weir is not the first Olympian to speak out against the boycott.

Alex Livesey / Getty Images

Out speed skater Blake Skjellerup also stated that he would not be boycotting the Olympics.

H/T Towleroad

Check out more articles on BuzzFeed.com!

Facebook Conversations
          
    Now Buzzing