Olympic Notes: USOC Officials Support Gay Rights But Won't Lead Charge For Change
U.S. Olympic officials said on Tuesday that "they support amending the Olympic Charter to boost support for gay athletes but cautioned that its main role is as a sports body and not a human rights organization." USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said, "First and foremost we are a sport's organization, we're the only organization in the world whose job it is to make sure American athletes get a chance to compete in the Olympic Games. We are not an advocacy organization or a human rights organization" (REUTERS, 10/2). ... Lance Armstrong's Olympic medal "is back with the IOC." The IOC "stripped the American rider of the bronze medal from the 2000 Sydney Games in January after he admitted to doping." After months of delays, "Armstrong handed back the medal two weeks ago to the USOC" (AP, 10/2). ... Germany's Olympic team "got a message across, coincidental or not, by unveiling rainbow-colored uniforms for the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia." The kits, unveiled on Tuesday in a runway show in Dusseldorf, "were interpreted by many as a protest against Russia's anti-gay laws." But German sports officials maintained that "no political or social message was being sent" (L.A. TIMES, 10/2).