Russian Athletes Deny Their Same-Sex Kiss Was A Protest Of Anti-Gay Laws
Russian athletes Ksenia Ryzhova and Yulia Guschina caused quite the media storm over the weekend when they shared a same-sex lip lock on the winner's podium after their relay victory at the World Championships in Russia.
The kiss was widely believed to have been a sign of protest against Russia's anti-gay propaganda laws.
Alas, apparently the kiss really wasn't a thing.
After narrowly edging out the US team to win the 400m relay at Moscow's Luzhniki stadium on Saturday, Ksenia Ryzhova and Yulia Guschina celebrated their victory with lingering kiss. They kissed again on the podium as their two teammates looked on.
But in her first comment on the incident, Ryzhova told the Guardian on Monday that the kiss was not a political statement and had nothing to do with the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.
"It was just happiness for our team," which has trained together for many years, Ryzhova said on Monday. She declined to comment on her attitude toward LGBT rights.
"If people want to write all sorts of dirt about us, they should at least know that Yulia and I are both married," she added.
Although the former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev was famous for kissing other leaders on the lips, including men, such platonic kissing is not a common occurrence in modern Russia.
We guess we'll have to wait for another pair of athletes to give us the defiant same-sex lip lock we crave.