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Coaches and competitors in Sochi: No talk of gay rights, please, we're Olympians

BY JOHN LEICESTER
AP SPORTS WRITER

SOCHI, Russia -- Olympic competition first, gay rights maybe later.

Plenty of athletes made clear before traveling to Sochi how unhappy they were about gay rights being curtailed in Russia, particularly with its law banning gay "propaganda."

But now in Sochi, there has not been a squeak of public protest from the 2,870 Olympians — either at venues or at Friday's opening ceremony.

Outside the Olympic bubble, the plight of Russia's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community continues to dog the games.

Gay rights activists who waved rainbow flags on Friday on Moscow's Red Square and protested in St. Petersburg were quickly arrested. Three sponsors of the U.S. Olympic Committee, led by telecommunications giant AT&T, have spoken explicitly against the Russian law. Google Inc. hinted its opposition by putting winter athletes and rainbow colors on its search-page logo.

But in Sochi, largely silence.

Click here to read reasons cited by Olympians and coaches.

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