Sep 4, 2013, 6:33 PM EST
Russian president Vladimir Putin said he hopes there will be no “negative implications” around the Sochi Olympics from his country’s law banning the promotion of “non-traditional” sexual relations toward minors.
Russian officials have said that homosexuals will not be discriminated against during the Games, Feb. 7-23, but that the law will be enforced.
“We have no laws against people with non-traditional sexual orientation,” Putin said, according to a 13,000-word transcript on the Kremlin’s website. “You kind of create an illusion among millions of spectators that we do have such laws, but we do not have such laws in Russia. Russia has adopted the law banning propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations among minors, but these are completely different things.”
Putin was asked specifically about the term “propaganda” in the law, and what that could mean. Here’s the question and answer on the Kremlin’s site:
JOHN DANISZEWSKI: When the law says it’s a crime to do propaganda, would that include things like waiving a rainbow flag or painting your body in rainbow colours? Is that propaganda for young people? Will visitors and athletes have to have these kinds of concern?
VLADIMIR PUTIN: No. In Russia, people who initiated these laws and who adopted this law (I, by the way, was not the initiator) assumed that homosexual marriages do not give children. Russia is going through hard times in terms of demographics. And we are more interested in full-fledged families and more children. It is not the main thing in the whole system of measures aimed at supporting demographic processes. But I think the authors of the law were guided by the need to solve demographic problems and were far from the idea of infringing anyone’s rights. And certainly not during the Olympic Games or other mass sport events, especially the Olympics – one can be absolutely sure that Russia will faithfully follow the principles of Olympism, which do not admit any kind of discrimination, national, gender, or sexual one, mentioned by you.
Putin also said he works with gay people and has awarded them state medals. He praised famous 19th-century Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky, who was said to be homosexual.
“We have absolutely normal relations, and I don’t see anything out of the ordinary here,” Putin said, according to The Associated Press. ”Truth be told, we don’t love him because of that, but he was a great musician and we all love his music.”
Putin said he would be open to meeting with members of the LGBT community.
Putin was also asked about Sochi Olympic spending and said 214 billion rubles ($6.4 billion) will be spent to prepare for the Games in February. Of the 214 billion, 100 billion came from the government and 114 billion from “private investors,” Putin said.
In February, the Russian government commission said 1.5 trillion rubles ($45 billion) would be spent, slightly more than the Olympic record cost of the 2008 Beijing Games, according to RIA Novosti.
“This country may have spent more to prepare for the Games in general, yet it has not invested more than any other country in the Olympic facilities themselves,” Putin said.
Finally, there was this exchange:
JOHN DANISZEWSKI: Are you willing tonight to predict the gold for the Russian hockey team?
VLADIMIR PUTIN: Of course, I can.
JOHN DANISZEWSKI: Ok, we will see.
VLADIMIR PUTIN: And what will you see? I have not yet told you what my predictions are.
JOHN DANISZEWSKI: Oh, I thought you were predicting a Russian victory. Or maybe just snow, there’ll be a lot of snow.
Dec 4, 2013, 12:57 PM EST
Burton revealed its patchwork designs for the U.S. Olympic Snowboard Team on Tuesday. “We’re really proud that the 2014 uniform builds on Burton’s legacy of creating fun, unconventional designs that stray from the formal, traditional look of most uniforms,” said Greg Dacyshyn, Chief Creative Officer at Burton Snowboards, in a press release. “The vintage quilt and…
Dec 4, 2013, 12:26 PM EST
The biggest international event from now until the Olympics is missing three active Olympic champions, but it will still provide a strong look at Sochi medal prospects. The Grand Prix Final takes the top six from each discipline over six qualifying events, which began with Skate America in October. If the Olympics are the most…
Dec 4, 2013, 10:33 AM EST
NBC Olympics added Ato Boldon, Mary Carillo and Cris Collinsworth as correspondents for its Sochi 2014 coverage, joining Maria Sharapova. Boldon, a four-time Olympic medalist sprinter for Trinidad and Tobago, will make his Winter Olympic broadcast debut. Boldon, 39, covered track and field for NBC Olympics at the 2008 and 2012 Games. Carillo, working her 12th Olympics, will be the host and…
Dec 4, 2013, 9:45 AM EST
A likely U.S. bid for the 2024 Olympics might be rivaled north of the border, but a leading Canadian Olympic official believes a North American city would have a better chance in 2028. “The way IOC does it, the games go to Europe, the Americas and then somewhere else,” Paul Henderson, former International Olympic Committee…
Dec 3, 2013, 9:21 PM EST
The U.S. Bobsled team made one change to its three women’s bobsled pairings for the second World Cup of the season in Park City, Utah, this weekend. The top two sleds from last week’s opener in Calgary, Alberta, remain the same – Elana Meyers and Aja Evans and Jamie Greubel and Katie Eberling. The third sled will again by driven by Jazmine Fenlator,…
Dec 3, 2013, 6:50 PM EST
Lindsey Vonn‘s status for this weekend’s races will be determined Thursday. The Olympic downhill champion is expected to take an official downhill training run Wednesday in Lake Louise, Alberta, two days before the first official World Cup race there. A decision on her participation in downhills Friday and Saturday and a super-G on Sunday will…
Dec 3, 2013, 6:38 PM EST
The U.S. Olympic Committee won’t narrow down its list of candidate cities for a 2024 Olympic bid until after the Sochi Games. A USOC group scheduled visits to potential bid cities including Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and San Francisco, Around the Rings reported in November. City visits will continue into December and January, USOC CEO Scott…
Dec 3, 2013, 3:16 PM EST
NBC Olympics swimming analyst Rowdy Gaines earned plenty of attention for his wild Iron Bowl finish reaction on Saturday night, but he might get a little heat from his fellow Auburn alums now. First, Gaines’ recollection of that crazy Tigers victory. His wife, Judy, was filming Gaines watching Alabama kicker Adam Griffith line up to attempt a hail-mary, 57-yard, time-expiring,…
Dec 3, 2013, 1:58 PM EST
Showers of praise keep raining on U.S. skier Mikaela Shiffrin, but perhaps comparisons to Lindsey Vonn are not the way to go. “When they say I’m the next Lindsey Vonn, they are shooing her out the door, and I don’t think that’s fair,” Shiffrin told TODAY.com. “Imagine being her, reading that someone is the next Lindsey Vonn…
Dec 3, 2013, 11:04 AM EST
Olympic weightlifter Holley Mangold was eliminated from “The Biggest Loser,” but not after she dropped 91 pounds in seven weeks. “It was a lot of hard work and not a lot of food,” Mangold, who went from 351 pounds to 260, said on “TODAY” on Tuesday. “It was extremely emotional [to be eliminated]. It’s hard. You bond…
Dec 3, 2013, 10:28 AM EST
The latest episode of WorldCurlingTV’s “Around the House” series caught up with the Norwegian men’s curling team at the European Championships in Stavanger, Norway. The rink, skipped by Thomas Ulsrud, won silver, just as it did at the 2010 Olympics. There was more talk about their eye-catching pants, too. (NBC Olympics researcher John Howe detailed the story behind…
Dec 3, 2013, 10:01 AM EST
Back comes Yuna Kim to figure skating this coming weekend. The reigning Olympic gold medalist will not be joining her peers at the Grand Prix Final in Japan, instead setting down her blades on competitive ice for the first time in nearly nine months at a lower-level Senior B event, Golden Spin, in Zagreb, Croatia.…
Dec 3, 2013, 9:56 AM EST
Thirteen members of the Miracle on Ice team, including captain Mike Eruzione, won’t be anywhere near Sochi during the Opening Ceremony on Feb. 7. They’ll be in Glendale, Ariz., to see the Chicago Blackhawks faces the Phoenix Coyotes. Eruzione and his 1980 U.S. Olympic champion teammates will be honored in an Olympic send-off event and ceremonial…
Dec 2, 2013, 3:52 PM EST
Rowdy Gaines has made some memorable calls of close swimming finishes (Jason Lezak, anyone?). The Auburn alum added a college football nail-biter to his résumé Saturday. The video above is courtesy of his wife, Judy. Gaines, an NBC Olympics swimming analyst, paced back and forth and buried his head in his hands as Alabama kicker Adam Griffith lined…
Dec 2, 2013, 3:28 PM EST
As promised, Ron Burgundy rocked the curling world Sunday. The anchorman took a break from the KVWN Channel 4 News team to join TSN’s coverage of Roar of the Rings, which are Canada’s Olympic Curling Trials. Before taking the mic, he received a curling lesson from world champion Glenn Howard and held a news conference. “The limo ride from…
Dec 2, 2013, 2:40 PM EST
The U.S. Ski Team rookie haircut tradition took a stars-and-stripes turn last weekend. Bryce Bennett, 21, made his World Cup debut in Lake Louise, Alberta, finishing 64th in a super-G. He also showed off a brand-new haircut, courtesy of teammate Jared Goldberg. Compare Bennett’s new look to that of Kieffer Christianson and Nick Daniels in recent rookie trimmings. Perhaps…
Dec 2, 2013, 1:19 PM EST
The late sprinter Ronnie Ray Smith received a memorial service befitting his Olympic champion status. The service for Smith, a member of the gold-medal winning U.S. 4x100m relay team at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, will be featured on TLC’s “Best Funeral Ever” on Monday night Here’s why: A casket was rolled over a finish line and…
Dec 2, 2013, 12:18 PM EST
Usain Bolt has accomplished pretty much all there is in sprinting, but it’s unlikely he’ll ever beat a cheetah. As part of “Big Cat Week,” Nat Geo Wild studied what would have happened if a cheetah took part in the 2009 World Championships 100m final, where Bolt set the world record of 9.58 seconds. Bolt’s time…
Dec 2, 2013, 10:40 AM EST
Georgia’s participation in the Sochi Olympics has been in question for months due to tensions with Russia, but its new prime minister said it will send a delegation of athletes to the Games. “We held discussions on this issue, whether or not Georgia should participate in the Olympics,” said Irakli Garibashvili, 31, who became Georgia’s…
Dec 2, 2013, 10:04 AM EST
NBC Olympics announced three hosts for its coverage of the Sochi Games in February on Monday. Dan Patrick and Rebecca Lowe will host NBCSN’s live weekday and weekend coverage. Lester Holt will anchor NBC’s weekday afternoon coverage. “We are excited to add Dan, Rebecca and Lester to our roster of anchors,” said Jim Bell, Executive Producer of NBC Olympics. “With…
- U.S. Snowboarding unveils ‘heirloom hippie’ Sochi Olympic uniforms (photos) 0
- Grand Prix Final offers glimpse at Olympic figure skating picture 0
- Lindsey Vonn set for Wednesday training run in Lake Louise 0
- USOC will focus on 2024 Olympic bid after Sochi Games 0
- Mikaela Shiffrin says ‘next Lindsey Vonn’ talk unfair to Vonn 0
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (54)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (45)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (29)
- Vladimir Putin tells critics of Russia at World University Games to ‘try some Viagra’ (18)
- IOC convinced there will be no discrimination at Sochi Olympics (16)