1. Ski Bums, an international LGBT skiers and snowboarders club, staged a protest against Russia’s anti-LGBT laws Tuesday in New York City, asking passers-by to toss snowballs at a massive banner bearing the face of Vladimir Putin.
2. Ski Bums teamed up with NYC-based advertising agency Grey to put on the game. Organizers spent over six hours Monday filling several coolers with snowballs.
3. “We are taking shots at Putin with snowballs. It’s the Olympics and we’re all about equality and we believe that everyone should be free to be who they want to be,” organizer Shannon May told BuzzFeed.
“It’s winter time, we’re going to get hit with another blizzard here in New York, so we figured let’s put the snow to good use,” she said.
4. With the Winter Olympic Games underway in Sochi, Russia, Ski Bums placed Olympic Rings over Putin’s face and assigned them with point values. Hitting Putin square in the nose earns you 100 points.
5. May said at least 50 people have thrown snowballs at Putin since they put up the banner around 10 a.m. and she expects many more to play throughout the day.
6. Ski Bums interviewed participants for a PSA video about Russia’s anti-LGBT laws and ongoing discrimination perpetrated against the country’s LGBT community.
7. UPDATE - 3:30 p.m. ET: Ski Bums added up the top scores of its club members and plans to donate that amount — $510 — to the Russia Freedom Fund, which benefits Russian LGBT groups, according to Ski Bums Founder and President Chris French.
“One good thing about Russia’s hosting of the Sochi Olympics is that it is drawing international attention to the Putin administration’s oppression of the LGBT community,” French said in a statement. “As winter sports enthusiasts, we believe that anyone should be able to follow their passion, regardless of who they love.”
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