AN ALLY FOR ALL SEASONS

Russian Pole Vaulter Condemns Gays, Nick Symmonds Not Having Any Of It

yelena-v-nickIn 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.”

American track star and all-around hottie Nick Symmonds, who on Tuesday dedicated his medal to his LGBT friends back home, took Isinbayeva to task.

“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.

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #2014olympics #emmagreen-tregaro #moahjelmer stories and more

19 Comments

  • Halston

    If her English is not that good she should have said it in Russian and had it interpreted and stood by what she said. I hated back peddlers.

  • litper

    I’m sorry Nick for all I’ve said before. You are the real HERO! You conscience is stronger than your fear!

  • GayTampaCowboy

    Russia couldn’t have picked a WORSE time to pass this law; given the fact that for the next 6 months there will be world-wide Olympic-qualifying competitions for every sport; and thus presenting a clear stage for pro-gay-rights athletes to make subtle and not-so-subtle statements about the law.

    The flames of equal rights and treatments of gay folks are, and will continue to be, stoked over the next few months and it will be VERY interesting to see how the IOC and the Russians react. We KNOW how Russians HATE to show weakness of any kind, so what happens before the Olympics will be quite interesting – especially if things become violent.

  • Dakotahgeo

    @Halston: Better yet, she could have kept her frickin’ mouth shut and avoided making an ass of herself!!! When are Soviet Russians ever going to learn to quit embarrassing themselves??!

  • gppm1103

    She doesn’t know jack about her “history”….otherwise she would know about Peter the Great.

  • 2eo

    Well that settles it, a brilliantly worded, thoughtful brain heavy piece like that has won me over.

    Oh hang on.

  • Matt G

    This whole situation is so awful- what we should be doing is offering amnesty to LGBT russians to come to the US. God only knows what will happen to them if the games get pulled from the country. The whole recent scapegoating is because Russia is becoming much more fascist and as Putin is losing favor he’s taking a page from the “Religious Right” (term used extremely loosely) to try to win sheeple appeal by finding “corruption” through outsider social groups. Meanwhile, Putin continues to be in bed with the exact corruption that truly is beating the Russian people down, NOT the Russian LGBT population.

  • balehead

    Offer amnensty to gay Russian athletes….

  • Teleny

    Thanks Nick!!!!

  • Daniel-Reader

    When Germany was hurting and killing disabled children in the basements of hospitals, the German athletes acted the same way she is acting towards the human rights of gay children. It is evil.

  • masteradrian

    Well, the lady pole-jumpster is a liar.. she knows the english language very well, she has a degree in english so one may be expecting that she can speak her mind in the english language!

    As to Nick Symmonds…. he may have said it as it was written in the article… she can stick that long pole were the sun doesn’t shine indeed!

    The woman is acting like a bigot to the core, a nationalist right-wing thug supporter, and all she fears is being exposed as the possible next wife of Putin…. prior to his divorce!

    One only can respect the individuals who stand up and out, in defending human rights in Russia, a country were there is no history of human rights at all, first there were farmers who were owned by the aristocratic land-owners, the royal court of the Czar owning the People, then Stalin who murdered and tortured 3 quarters of the Russian population, then the Communists who smuthered every call and struggle for the smallest form of freedom, and then the Putin era came… the re-installment of Czarism……. the extreme form of so-called democratic dictatorship…..

    In fact it is no wonder the the Russian People are incapable of acknowledging freedom, there never has been any form of freedom or human rights in Russia!

  • mezzacanadese

    Someone mentioned that Russian gays should come to America, and I know they would be very welcome here in San Francisco, but if they all come over here, who will be left in Russia to fight?

  • Ryan Nix

    I’ve said it once… I’ll say it again…. Russia is headed towards the old anti-gay German code known as Paragraph 175. We are just millimeters away from it right now.

  • Kangol

    Isinbayeva really ought to be ashamed of herself. She’s also helping to endanger the lives of others by promoting hate. Disgusting!

  • Dez

    She doesn’t believe in discrimination against gay people but supports their vile laws that blatantly discriminate against gay people? How do you say “HYPOCRITE” in Russian??

  • Victor_in_PA

    IMO the IOC is full of a bunch of wimps. I’ve never seen such spineless capitulating to discrimination. I will never watch another Olympics just because the IOC doesn’t think gay people are worth the effort of sticking up for us. Well, the Olympics just got crossed off my list of things to be even remotely interested in. And, I don’t give a F*CK about Russia either. It’s a whole country with as much class as rural Alabama. The funny thing is, they don’t even have anything worth buying so there’s not even really anything to boycott. What a worthless country.

  • EvonCook

    @Victor_in_PA: Victor, The IOC are not wimps, they are long time homophobes themselves! Remember their stance on the Gay Olympics? The IOC is only about MONEY and power under the this camouflaging veneer of sportsmanship and camaraderie.

  • heatstroke1981

    “Boys with Woman, Woman with Boys” Gee, that sounds to me like a woman who loves a good penis.

  • nycbearman

    I think she sounds like a terrified lesbian.

Comments are closed.