Sochi, Russia – Team figure skating makes its debut at the Winter Olympics on Thursday, one of the events held a day before the opening ceremony. Ten countries will send out one entry in each of the four disciplines: men, women, pairs and ice dance. The nation with the highest total score after the short and long programs wins — suddenly giving figure skaters the chance at two medals at one Winter Games.
It seems like history being made on ice, but at the expense of the Russians.
Vladimir Putin’s government has come under fire for its anti-gay laws prohibiting the public display of homosexuality, and it has resisted all pressure from world governments and sports organizations which initially threatened to boycott the Sochi Winter Olympics because of these homophobic policies.
In a stunning development, six nations participating in the team figure skating competitions are sending same-sex partners as their entries to the pairs competition: Belgium,Canada, Denmark, Spain, Sweden and The Netherlands.. Same-sex marriage in all six countries is legal.
While the Russian government initially protested the decision by what it is calling the “rebel” countries, a spokesperson for President Putin told The Adobo Chronicles that it is too late to make a change in the skating line-up. “It is physically impossible to demand a replacement of the same-sex partner skaters at this point, and Russia will stand to lose millions of dollars if the Thursday competitions are cancelled,” he said.
As a compromise, the Russian government ruled that the pairs competition will not be televised by NBC during its prime-time coverage of the Winter games. Instead, NBC will air a re-mastered version of the James Bond film, “From Russia With Love.” Telecast of the team skating competitions will resume after the last same-sex partner skaters have finished with their short and long programs.
Sochi, Russia – When the figure skating competitions begin a day before the actual Winter Olympics opening ceremonies, athletes and spectators will go through what may seem like security metal detectors. But lo and behold, they are actually ‘gaydars.”
These special detectors, the first if its kind in the world, will be installed at all entrances to the Iceberg Skating Palace, the 12,000-seat venue of the ice skating competitions.
Everyone knows by now that Russia has strict anti-gay laws in place, prohibiting any public display of homosexuality. While the Putin government has said that no foreigner will be arrested under these laws during the duration of the winter games, it is nevertheless taking extreme measures to discourage public display of homosexuality.
The gaydar technology, developed in China by Apple, will detect even the slightest trace of gayness by scanning the retina of the eyes and flagging any abnormal flickering of the fingers.
Russian officials said that any athlete or spectator who fails the high-tech test will be denied enty into the competitions. It wasn’t clear if the figure skating competitors are exempted from the screening. “I think the skaters will be exempted,” said one official, “otherwise we might not have any competition to watch if any of the skaters are banned from the skating arena.”
The men’s short program kicks off the figure skating competitions on February 6 and the Opening Ceremonies will be held February 7.
Sochi, Russia – When contingents from participating nations march in for the opening ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics on February 7 in Sochi, Russia, spectators will not see the athletes from Scotland, Fiji and American Samoa.
The reason? Vladimir Putin’s government has banned male athletes from wearing skirts in public. The ban is consistent with Russia’s controversial law prohibiting any public display of homosexuality.
The Scottish olympians were supposed to wear kilts, traditional attire for men and boys in Scotland, while the Fijians and Samoans were to wear the traditional lava lava, a male version of the female sarong. Fiji and American Samoa are among the few tropical nations that send a delegation to the quadrennial winter competitions.
“These attires closely resemble women’s skirts, and for men to be wearing women’s clothing in public is inconsistent with Russian law,” Putin said in a press conference yesterday at The Kremlin.