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Gay Ski Jumper Explains 'No One Cares' About LGBT Protest Comment

Many were thrown by Daniela Iraschko-Stolz's seeming ambivalence to LGBT rights in Russia when the openly gay Austrian ski jumper, who's legally married to a woman, seemingly claimed that "no one cares" about pro-LGBT demonstrations in Russia and asserted that it wasn't a good idea to protest.

Now she's clarifying her statement following her silver medal win on Tuesday in the women's ski jump.

From USA Today: 

"The question was, 'Would I make a protest?'" Iraschko-Stolz said. "And I said, 'Nobody cares if I make a protest or if I don't jump here, because I'm not the most important person in the world. Nobody cares if I jump.' This was my statement."

A strong blowback to her comments on Feb. 9 left Iraschko-Stolz feeling "shocked," she said.

"I would never say that. I fight a lot in my life, for my sport and for my love."

Rather than make her sexuality a secondary topic, Iraschko-Stolz said Tuesday she hopes her successful event can help add a positive note to a contentious conversation.

"When you are in the media, many people maybe knew my name and also knew that I am married with a woman," she said. "And now the Olympic Games are here in Russia and they will end here in Russia.

"I hope for the future that the people now can see the sport as a chance to change something. That would be nice. Because everyone looks at Russia and its laws, and I think it's a good idea to change something."

What do you think of Iraschko-Stolz's explanation, Instincters? Was she misinterpreted? Misjudged?

Is she correct?


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I think she would make an impact if she would have gone up to where she should start, took a rainbow flag, or a picture of beaten gay people by the Russian police, and shown that to the world ... instead of just sliding down the hill and saying nobody would care if she would have jumped or not. Now ... nobody won't care about HER. She could have made a statement that would have gone around the world, and people would have cared about THEM/US !!

A red thing fell on that birdie behind her and killed it!!!! :O

It's not the first time an Olympian's comments have been misinterpreted. It also wouldn't be the first time an Olympian has had to correct crazy comments that have been made. Olympic athletes probably do not have publicists who can let them know how what they say will be interpreted.

Since an activist who claimed that the Sochi Olympics are hurting the environment has been jailed for three years, she's correct in her assertion that Russia in general does not care about LGBT issues and protests may be futile.There's also the position held by many that the games should be about the athletes. There's truth in that position as well. And when it comes to Russia, the violation of basic humans rights is so rampant, where do you begin? There is probably no other country that is so forward thinking while at the same time being backward and like the Soviets of old, sooner or later things will implode.

I suppose it depends on the athlete and the situation. If an athlete is powerful and recognizable, a statement may be of value. So figure skaters, hockey captains, perhaps celebrity snow boarders make a statement, it could have an impact I suppose, but if it's going to be censored by those who should hear it,and you can be certain no Russian will here "I would like to thank my wife" from a Lesbian skiier, is it worth the effort? It's a tough call, and since most of su will never be Olympians, do we really know how we'd react?

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