The White House announced Tuesday that two of its delegation members for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia will be openly gay athletes. Many media outlets are stipulating that this was done intentionally as a message to Russia and its leader, Vladimir Putin, regarding the country's ban against "homosexual propaganda for minors."
The two openly gay athletes who will be representing the U.S. include Tennis great Billie Jean King, a 39-time Grand Slam title winner and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and hockey player Caitlin Cahow, who won a bronze medal at the 2006 Winter Games and a silver medal at the 2010 Winter Games. Cahow will attend the games' closing ceremony.
Other members of the opening ceremony delegation include Former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Ambassador Michael McFaul, White House deputy chief of staff Rob Nabors, and Former Olympic gold medalist figure skater Brian Boitano. American representatives at the closing ceremony will include Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, McFaul, and Olympic speedskaters Bonnie Blair and Eric Heiden, both of whom have won five Olympic gold medals each. more >>
Television personality and real estate mogul Donald Trump said in a recent interview that his views on gay marriage are evolving as society's opinion on the issue continues to change, but the business magnate was quick to note that he continues to support the traditional definition of marriage.
"I think really what you have is a very changing stance, and you see it changing very rapidly. If you go back 10 years ago it's very different [...] I think I'm evolving, and I think I'm a very fair person, but I have been for traditional marriage. I am for traditional marriage, I am for a marriage between a man and a woman," Trump told MSNBC's Thomas Roberts this past weekend while the two were in Moscow, Russia for the Miss Universe pageant. Trump and NBC co-own the Miss Universe pageant, and Roberts served as a host for the competition alongside R&B artist Mel B.
Roberts also asked Trump what he thought of the controversy over having the Miss Universe pageant in Russia after the country recently passed a ban on spreading "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations among minors." The country has also received criticism from athletes planning on participating in the Winter Olympic Games this upcoming February over the ban, passed in June. more >>
A Russian politician whose legislative efforts have led to recently passed antigay legislation had his church fire-bombed by unknown assailants.
According to the Russia & India Report, two masked attackers threw Molotov cocktails at The Church of Holy Peter the Metropolitan Bishop of Moscow on Sunday evening. The Muscovite church is where Vitaly Milonov, St Petersburg municipal deputy, volunteers as an altar server.
On Twitter, Milonov blamed "scum" for the attack, which inflicted minor damage on the church, and vowed to "find them and destroy them." more >>
Russian two time gold medalist and pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva has offered her public support to her country's new law banning "the promotion of unnatural sexual relations" at the Track and Field World Championships in Moscow, and has asked the international community to understand that countries are different and should respect each other's laws.
In her initial comments Isinbayeva said this week (in English, not her native tongue): "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. We just live with boys with woman, woman with boys."
She added, "It comes from history. We never had any problems, these problems in Russia, and we don't want to have any in the future." more >>
Josh Davis could brag if he wants: he was the only man at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games to win three gold medals. But instead, he travels the country telling people how great God is and reminds himself that even as his hard-earned Olympic medals are now dented and scratched from handling, God's Word is eternal.
Davis spoke to The Christian Post last week about his book The Goal and the Glory – a compilation of stories from Christian Olympians – how he felt the day after winning his first gold medal, and his connection to Texas megachurch pastor and bestselling author Max Lucado and 14-time-Olympic-gold-medalist Michael Phelps.
The following is an edited transcript of the conversation. more >>
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been criticized recently for its decision not to hold a remembrance on the anniversary of the 1972 terrorist attack on Israeli Olympians.
"We feel that the Opening Ceremony is an atmosphere that is not fit to remember such a tragic incident," IOC President Jacques Rogge said at a Saturday press conference, reinforcing a decision first announced in May.
Over 100,000 people have now signed an online petition at Munich11.org asking for a minute of silence at the Olympics to remember the 11 Israeli athletes, coaches and referees who were murdered at the Munich Olympics. more >>