Two Russian athletes kissed to (probably) protest their country’s anti “gay propaganda” laws on Saturday. Kseniya Ryzhova and Tatyana Firova, members of the Russian women’s 4×400-meter relay team, kissed on the podium after their team won gold at the World Athletics Championship in Moscow.
Neither athlete has released a statement on their kiss. Russia, of course is claiming it was just a celebratory peck on the lips. I mean, just like there are no gay people in Kenya, I assume there are no gay athletes in Russia. And I would like to officially suggest it was an attempt to turn on male viewers. (Just kidding.) Whether the kiss was intended to spark debate about Russia’s recent crack down on LGBT people, it certainly has.
Ryzhova and Firova wouldn’t be the first athletes using their celebrity to make a statement against Russia’s draconian policies. US runner Nick Symmonds dedicated the silver medal for the 800m race to his gay and lesbian friends back home on Tuesday. And Swedish athletes Emma Green Tregaro and Moa Hjelmer competed at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Moscow with their fingernails adorned with the colors of the rainbow. High jumper Green Tregaro who nstagrammed her nails, “felt like a simple, small thing that maybe could trigger some thoughts.”
This certainly triggered Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva who said, “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.” Sadly, Green Tregaro has literally and metaphorically concealed her rainbow solidarity with a coat of red nail polish. This was in response not so much to Isinbayeva’s really persuasive talking points, but to pressure from International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)
See a hot and heavy close-up of the hot and heavy kiss below the jump!