A lot was made about Russia’s anti-gay laws leading up to the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Fortunately, it does not seem like there have been any issues for athletes and visitors during the first week of the Games. In fact, Russian president Vladmir Putin even hugged an openly gay competitor earlier this week.
Dutch speedskater Ireen Wust was the first openly gay athlete to win a gold medal in Sochi. After she won the 3,000-meter race, she told Dutch national broadcaster NOS that she shared an intimate moment with Putin.
“I got a cuddle from him,” Wust said, according to ABC News. “He congratulated me and asked if everything was OK in Russia and I congratulated him on (Russian speedskater) 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.”
Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law prohibits information about homosexuality from being given to minors. Putin has maintained for months that homosexuals will not be discriminated against at the Olympics, though he did come under fire for the way he phrased his reassurance in one interview. Hopefully the sexual preference of athletes continues to be a non-issue.