In breaking news, Nick Symmonds is still perfect. After a Russian pole vaulter made some homophobic remarks about her country’s LGBT population, Nick Symmonds told her to vault that pole where the sun don’t shine. In a more courteous way, of course.
Yelena Isinbayeva snatched the gold medal Thursday at the World Track and Field Championships in Moscow, winning her third world title. But before accepting her medal, Isinbayeva took time out to lend her support to Russia’s anti-gay law.
“If we allow to promote and do all this stuff on the street, we are very afraid about our nation because we consider ourselves like normal, standard people,” the two-time Olympian said in English, via the AP. “We just live with boys with woman, woman with boys.” She added, “Everything must be fine. It comes from history. We never had any problems, these problems in Russia, and we don’t want to have any in the future.”
Isinbayeva also criticized Swedish high jumper Emma Green-Tregaro who had painted her nails rainbow, calling the gesture “unrespectful.”
“I wouldn’t say it was a protest – more of a statement of what I think,” Green-Tregaro said. “I usually do my nails in something that feels good for me and it was a simple way of showing what I think.”
“It blows my mind that such a young, well-traveled, well-educated woman would be so behind the times. She said ‘normal, standard people’ in Russia? Guess what: a lot of these people with Russian citizenship are normal, standard homosexuals,” Symmonds said. “They deserve rights, too.”
Isinbayeva later backtracked on her comments, claiming she was misunderstood.
“English is not my first language and I think I may have been misunderstood. I am opposed to any discrimination against gay people on the grounds of their sexuality,” she said in a statement. “What I wanted to say was that people should respect the laws of other countries, particularly when they are guests.”
Well, we guess this is just a glimpse of what to expect at Sochi next year. Congrats to people like Nick Symmonds and Emma Green-Tregaro — as well as Swedish sprinter Moa Hjelmer, who also painted her nails — for having the courage to stand up for what they believe in on such a global scale. Here’s hoping Nick paints his nails in solidarity too. He can totally pull it off.