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SBD Global/December 3, 2013/Olympics

Gay Rights Olympic Protest To Target Vladimir Putin, Coca-Cola In Sochi

Gay rights activists "plan to defy" Russian President Vladimir Putin and "pressure Olympic sponsors" including Coca-Cola by getting athletes to protest a Russian ban on homosexual “propaganda” during the 2014 Sochi Olymipcs, according to Henry Meyer of BLOOMBERG. N.Y.-based Athlete Ally said that it is in talks with Australian snowboarder Belle Brockhoff and Canadian Alpine skier Mike Janyk as well as two others "about wearing logos referring to the Olympic charter, which bans all forms of discrimination in its sixth principle." Athlete Ally Founder & Exec Dir Hudson Taylor said, "There is a tremendous opportunity because the world is going to be watching." Athlete Ally is "also in talks with some teams about wearing ‘Principle 6’ clothing." Olympians in some competitions "can sign sponsorship deals separate to the national squad." Spectators will "be able to buy the apparel and wear it in Sochi." Brockhoff, who revealed she is a lesbian in September, said, "I want to compete as myself so that people see I am me." IOC Marketing Chair Gerhard Heiberg said in September he was being “pushed” by several sponsors who were worried about the likelihood of protests during the Games. Heiberg: "I think this could ruin a lot for all of us. We have to be prepared" (BLOOMBERG, 12/2).
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