Swedish Athletes Sport Rainbow Nails In Moscow

“For me, sport is about respect and unity, so it felt like the perfect opportunity to show what I think.”

1. Emma Green Tregaro of Sweden competed in this morning’s qualification rounds in the World Athletics Championships in Moscow.

She qualified for the high jump final after clearing 1.92 meters.

Phil Noble / Reuters

2. But what caught everyone’s attention was her rainbow nail art on both hands.

3. She revealed her plans to compete with the rainbow nails via Twitter, adding “#pride.”

Emma Green Tregaro


/ Via

4. Tregaro says of her silent protest against Russia’s anti-gay laws:

Mark Kolbe / Getty Images

5. Her decision inspired Swedish sprinter Moa Hjelmer to do the same.

Phil Noble / Reuters

6. Hjelmer told Swedish Radio:

Ian Walton / Getty Images

7. Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva spoke out against the Swedish athlete’s actions.

Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

8. At a press conference, she said:

“It’s unrespectful to our country, it’s unrespectful to our citizens. Because we are Russians, maybe we are different from European people, maybe we are different to people from other lands, but we have our laws that everyone has to respect […] If we will allow to promote, do all this stuff on the streets we are very afraid about our nation. We consider ourselves normal standard people, with boys with women, women with boys. Everything was fine, this comes from history. We’ve never had these problems in Russia and we don’t want to have it in the future”

9. As athletes begin to compete and qualify for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, many are choosing to take a stand against Russia’s anti-gay laws.

After winning silver at the World Athletics Championships on Tuesday, middle-distance runner Nick Symmonds criticized the country’s “gay propaganda” law.

Jamie Squire / Getty Images

10. The small act of defiance inspired many to tweet their support with the hashtag “#GoEmma.”


— carincarlsson (@Carin Carlsson)

Carin Carlsson



/ Via

What the hell Isinbajeva.... And I was so happy for your win...guess ill take that back! #pride #equality #russia #GoEmma

— K_Backe (@Karoline Backe)

Karoline Backe


What the hell Isinbajeva…. And I was so happy for your win…guess ill take that back! #pride #equality #russia #GoEmma

/ Via

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Sarah Karlan is the associate LGBT editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Sarah Karlan at


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