SBNation: The London Olympics and U.S. politics have swung a big spotlight onto dressage, with the entry of U.S. horse Rafalca into that genteel event. Rafalca is a 15-year-old Oldenberg mare. What makes her London debut so noisily newsworthy is that she is co-owned by Ann Romney, wife of Republican U.S. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who vocally opposes same-sex marriage. Rafalca and the Romneys will go up against an 11-year-old Netherlands gelding named Glock’s Undercover. Though a newcomer to grand prix competition, Undercover will be ridden by one of the world’s great dressage artists– Dutch rider Edward Gal, who is openly gay. Let the games and irony begin…
Tag Archives: olympics
Outsports: Stephany Lee, an openly lesbian wrestler who married her partner a day after qualifying for the London Olympics, was kicked off the team after testing positive for smoking marijuana. Pot is a banned substance under U.S. Olympic Committee rules.
She said that she quit using marijuana two weeks before the trials — “the longest I ever quit before a competition,” — and that she was surprised to learn of the result from the United States Anti-Doping Agency several weeks later. … Lee said she had had 16 consecutive negative tests since 2009, when she tested positive for marijuana at the prestigious United States Open.
While she said she was surprised by the positive test, Lee did not go so far as saying her sexual orientation played any role in her dismissal, telling Branch: “I’m more angry than anything at myself. I’m disappointed for the people I’ve let down that have been behind me. I’m sad. I could have stopped earlier. I could have prevented this.”
PinkNews: Former Olympic gymnast Peter Vidmar has resigned as the chef du mission of the US 2012 team after anger over comments he made about gay marriage.
In 2008, Mr Vidmar, a Mormon, joined the fight against California’s gay marriage law.
As well as joining two rallies and donating $2,000, the gold medal winner was quoted at the time as saying: “It’s good for our society to have a traditional definition of marriage.”
His comments resurfaced last week in an article on Outsports.com and then in the Chicago Tribune, leading fellow athletes to condemn him.
The figure skater Johnny Weir, who is gay, told Outsports.com: “I certainly wouldn’t want to be represented by someone who is anti gay marriage. It isn’t just about marriage; it is being allowed equal rights as Americans. The fact this man who is very publicly against something that may be represented on the American team is disgraceful.”
In a statement on Friday, Mr Vidmar, 49, said: “I have dedicated my life to the Olympic movement and the ideals of excellence, friendship and respect. I wish that my personal religious beliefs would not have become a distraction from the amazing things that are happening in the Olympic movement in the United States. I simply cannot have my presence become a detriment to the US Olympic family. I hope that by stepping aside, the athletes and their stories will rightly take centre stage.”
Before resigning, he told reporters he had not tried to hide his remarks and added: “I fully respect the rights of everyone to have the relationships they want to have.”
The flu has been f*cking me ever-so-not gently so I’ve been more grumpy than usual for the past week or so, but this news from the heavens or where ever Johnny Weir gets inspiration for those outfits has just made my dayquil laden day:
Outsports: Several Web sites (including AfterElton) are reporting that figure skater Johnny Weir says he is gay in his new book, Welcome To My World. Weir said he would talk directly about relationships in his book, and those relationships obviously include men. One tidbit from a People interview of Weir that AfterElton reported struck me:
Weir also discusses the pressure he felt from gay websites who “couldn’t figure out why I was such a jerk that I wouldn’t talk it [being gay].”
“A lot of the gays got downright angry about my silence. But pressure is the last thing that would make me want to ‘join’ a community.”
Outsports: As the Winter Olympics fade into history, we can’t leave them without celebrating Corinne Hunt, the lesbian First Nation artist who designed those unusual medals. I’ve been watching the Olympics on TV since the 1960s, and can’t remember another Games with medals that stood out so sharply for their powerful — if controversial — presence.
Hunt grew up in a native community at Alert Bay on the north end of Vancouver Island. “I’m Komoyue tribe,” she says. Pacific Northwest peoples have an ancient tradition of metalworking, so Hunt fell in love with metals at a young age, inspired by an uncle who was a famous jeweler. Since 1985 she has achieved international prominence as a jeweler and contemporary furniture designer. She specializes in luminous metal creations that marry ancient native symbols with space-age metals technology.
In a recent interview with film producer Morris Chapdelaine on BigGayMovie.com, Hunt was a picture of traditional/contemporary — she wore a spikey boyish ‘do and a black-and-white native weaving wrapped around her neck. She shared that she came out when she was 16 years old. “That was in 1976. Yeah!”
Hunt smiled broadly as she added, “As long as you’re very comfortable with who you are, it can be a very positive influence.”
In 2008, when the Vancouver Olympic Committee (VANOC) announced its competition for medal design, 48 artists from all over the world jumped at the chance. Hunt’s imaginative concept started with a panel covered in traditional images of a swirling, stylized orca. Hunt saw this animal as expressing the power, speed and strength of Olympic athletes. The round of each medal would be lifted, cookie-cutter fashion, from a different spot on the panel. So each medal would be unique, with a different design. But, like a piece of a puzzle, each medal would still remain a dynamic part of the whole.
VANOC asked Hunt to collaborate with another competitor, industrial designer Omer Arbel. Their final brainstorm: Unlike most Olympic medals, which are flat like conventional coins, Vancouver’s medals would be wavy, expressing the waters and mountains of the region. The medals jury was evidently bowled over by this high-tech concept.
Next, Hunt and Omer Arbel collaborated with the Royal Canadian Mint. Gold, silver and copper were supplied by the Vancouver firm Teck Resources Limited, who recycles from electronic waste (circuitboards, etc.). Copper was used for the “bronze” medals to make sure they didn’t look too much like the gold medals. Each of the 1014 Olympic medals was struck 6 times to get the wave into it. Then it was engraved by a laser process with its chosen whale design.
A similar series, using a raven design, was done for the upcoming Paralympic Games.