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September 26, 2013 in AIDS and Health, Arts, Bisexual, Books, Bullying, Business, Census, Crime, Current Affairs, Fashion, Film, Florida, Food and Drink, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Immigration, Key West & Monroe County, Lesbian, LGBT, Marriage, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Military, Music, Obituary, Palm Beach County, Pets, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Sports, Television, Theater, Transgender, Travel, Web/Tech, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0)
BY LAURA MILLS, ASSOCIATED PRESS
SOCHI, Russia -- The International Olympic Committee doesn't have the authority to intervene in Russia's law banning gay propaganda and is convinced there will be no discrimination against athletes or spectators at the Winter Games in Sochi, a top Olympic official said Thursday.
Jean-Claude Killy, chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission, gave his stamp of approval of Russian preparations for the games during a news conference at the conclusion of the commission's 10th and final visit to Sochi before the Olympics, which begin on Feb. 7.
Russia has come under scrutiny as the next host of the Olympics because of the law passed this summer outlawing "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations among minors," which many worry may apply to gay athletes and visitors to the games.
Killy said the commission considered the issue carefully and in the end was fully convinced that Russia will respect the Olympic charter, which prohibits discrimination of any kind. He said the IOC had received written assurances from Russian officials there would be no discrimination.
"The Olympic Charter states that all segregation is completely prohibited, whether it be on the grounds of race, religion, color or other, on the Olympic territory," he said in French.
"That will be the case, we are convinced. Another thing I must add: the IOC doesn't really have the right to discuss the laws in the country where the Olympic Games are organized. As long as the Olympic Charter is respected, we are satisfied, and that is the case."
BY NANCY ARMOUR, AP NATIONAL WRITER
Johnny Weir won't be going to the Sochi Olympics.
At least, not as a skater.
U.S. Figure Skating confirmed Tuesday that the two-time Olympian did not register for the qualifiers for the national championships, where the Sochi team will be selected. The deadline to register was Sept. 1. The three-time U.S. champion can't get a free pass to nationals, either. According to U.S. Figure Skating rules, only skaters who placed in the top five at last year's nationals or who won medals at the most recent Olympics or world championships are eligible for byes.
Weir, who is gay, has not competed since withdrawing from last year's Rostelecom Cup, his first major event since finishing sixth at the Vancouver Olympics. He did not return a text message asking for comment.
'American Masters: Billie Jean King' debuts Sept. 10 on PBS; first time program spotlights sports figure
American Masters: Billie Jean King debuts 8 p.m. Sept. 10 on PBS. From the website:
For the first time, American Masters profiles a sports figure: Billie Jean King, a determined woman who has been a major force in changing and democratizing the cultural landscape. American Masters Billie Jean King premieres nationally Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings) to commemorate the 40th anniversaries of the Billie Jean King v. Bobby Riggs “The Battle of the Sexes” match on Sept. 20, 1973, and the founding of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) by King on June 20 of that year. This new documentary traces the incredible life of the single most important female athlete of the 20th century as her 70th birthday nears.
American Masters looks back to the 12-year-old Long Beach, California, girl who played tennis on public courts, observed disparity and, as she soared athletically, never stopped trying to remedy inequality. During her professional tennis career, King won 39 Grand Slam titles, helped form the Virginia Slims Series (pre-cursor to WTA Tour), founded the Women’s Sports Foundation and Women’s Sports magazine, and co-founded World TeamTennis (WTT). Her competitiveness on the circuit was matched by her efforts on behalf of women and the LGBT community, and her commitment to prove there is strength in diversity.
In American Masters Billie Jean King, King presents her own story with perspective from fellow tennis stars that played alongside her or were influenced by her, among them Margaret Court, Chris Evert, Ilana Kloss (King’s partner), Maria Sharapova, Serena and Venus Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, and members of the Virginia Slims Circuit “Original 9,” including Peaches Bartkowicz, Rosie Casals, Julie Heldman, Nancy Richey, and Valerie Ziegenfuss. The film also features new interviews with a diverse cast of characters from King’s unparalleled life: former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, friend and fellow activist Sir Elton John, feminist icon Gloria Steinem, Bobby Riggs’ son Larry and “Battle of the Sexes” trainer Lornie Kuhle, King’s brother Randy Moffitt and ex-husband Larry King, and Valerie Jarrett, Senior Adviser to President Obama, who chose King as the first female athlete to be awarded with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. King is also a member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. Through these interviews and archival footage, the film illustrates the life of a woman whose journey became not just a battle for personal glory but a sociopolitical battle for equality for all.
BY LYNN BERRY, ASSOCIATED PRESS
NOVO-OGARYOVO, Russia -- President Vladimir Putin sought to ease concerns that Russia's new anti-gay law would be used to punish athletes who display rainbow flags during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, while insisting that gays are not discriminated against in his country.
"I assure you that I work with these people, I sometimes award them with state prizes or decorations for their achievements in various fields," Putin said in an interview with The Associated Press and Russia's state Channel 1 television late Tuesday. "We have absolutely normal relations, and I don't see anything out of the ordinary here."
He added that Russians love Tchaikovsky even though the composer was said to have been a homosexual. "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.
Putin offered to meet with members of the gay and lesbian community if they asked to see him.
Rainbow flags greet Diana Nyad in Key West as she completes record-setting swim across Florida Straits
BY CAMMY CLARK AND CHRISTINA VEIGA, CCLARK@MIAMIHERALD.COM
Long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad, on her fifth attempt to cross the treacherous Florida Straits, completed the historic journey Monday afternoon.
The 64-year old Nyad accomplished her life-long dream when she staggered onto a Key West beach just before 2 p.m., becoming the first person to complete the treacherous swim without the wave-breaking aid of a protective shark cage. Her 110-mile voyage took 52 hours, 54 minutes and 18.6 seconds to complete, according to a tweet by Nyad’s team.
South Florida Gay Flag Football League to hold registration clinic 11 a.m. Saturday in Wilton Manors
From Gregory "Cakedaddy" Turman:
PLAY FOOTBALL WITH US!!!
The third and final registration clinics for the SFGFFL takes place this Saturday, August 24th at Mills Pond Park in Wilton Manors, FL. The clinic starts at 11am. Our league is the most open and diverse league in South Florida. We welcome players that have never played sports, are simply football fans, and those who played in high school, college or in a professional football league. We will teach you the game and make sure you have a good time at our post-game events and league social events. In the SFGFFL, EVERYONE GETS TO PLAY!!! Please click the link and get started.
August 23, 2013 in Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Florida, Food and Drink, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Lesbian, LGBT, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Sports, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0)
BY STEPHEN WILSON, AP SPORTS WRITER
LONDON -- The Russian government assured the IOC on Thursday it will not discriminate against homosexuals during the Sochi Olympics, while defending the law against gay "propaganda" that has provoked an international backlash.
The IOC received a letter from Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak giving reassurances the host country will comply fully with the Olympic Charter's provision against discrimination of any kind.
"The Russian Federation guarantees the fulfillment of its obligations before the International Olympic Committee in its entirety," Kozak said.
However, Kozak did not back down on the issue of the new law, which penalizes anyone who distributes information aimed at persuading minors that "nontraditional" relationships are normal or attractive.
The law applies equally to everyone and "cannot be regarded as discrimination based on sexual orientation," Kozak said.
The letter still leaves open the question of what would happen to Olympic athletes or fans if they make statements or gestures that could be considered propaganda.
MOSCOW -- Quick kisses exchanged by four Russian female sprinters, exuberant after winning a relay race at the world championships in Moscow, have set off a flurry of speculation that they were protesting Russia's new controversial law against gays.
But two of the athletes, who appeared to brush lips while kissing each other on the cheek, insisted Tuesday that was not the case.
Kseniya Ryzhova, one of the 4 x 400-meter relay winners, said: "The storm of emotions going through us was incredible. And if we, accidentally, while congratulating each other, touched lips, excuse me. We think the whole fuss is more of a sick fantasy not grounded in anything."
Russian women often kiss one another on the cheek when celebrating a happy occasion or even just in greeting.