Gay Austrian athlete says fuss over Russia law is exaggerated
ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) -
Lesbian Austrian ski jumper and gay rights advocate Daniela
Iraschko-Stolz says public reaction to a Russian law banning homosexual
propaganda among minors had been exaggerated and that she wants to focus
on sport at the Winter Olympics.
Russia has come under heavy international criticism for a law banning the spread of "gay propaganda" among minors.
Asked ahead of her competition whether she
was worried about the law, Iraschko-Stolz replied: "No, on the
contrary, I think everything is being blown up bigger than it is. I had a
very good welcome like every other athlete. There were absolutely no
Moscow says the law is needed to defend young people but activists say it is fueling anti-gay violence in Russia.
"Naturally you have to look at it from a different point of view and
always be critical, but especially in my situation, I don't want to talk
too much about it," said the Austrian, who is one of the leading
contenders for a medal in Tuesday's normal hill event.
"I only want to focus on sports and I think if you're tolerant towards
everyone else they treat you the same way and it gives you a lot of joy.
I think you can make a statement by jumping well."
At the moment I'm living like a fairy tale because as a child I always
wanted to take part in the Olympics Games," she said.
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