Georgiy Mamedov, Russia's ambassador to
Canada, has reiterated that gay athletes participating in the 2014
Winter Olympics in Sochi will not face discrimination.
Mamedov told reporters during a news
conference Friday at the Russian embassy in Ottawa that Western
nations “overreacted” to the law as it relates to the Olympics.
“You know what the main story is in
Moscow today at this particular time? Elton John's concert,”
Mamedov said. “It will be as tough to get tickets there as it to
get the hockey finals during the Winter Olympics. So you shouldn't
John dedicates Russian show to slain gay youth Vladislav Tornovoi.)
The law, approved in June, prohibits
the promotion of “gay propaganda” to minors, effectively
outlawing Gay Pride Parades and other demonstrations of support.
Approval of the law provoked worldwide condemnation and calls for
boycotts of Russian made imports and international events taking
place in Russia, including the upcoming Sochi games, which open in
Mamdov said the laws were widely
misunderstood, the Toronto
“We gave all assurances on all the
levels that people of all stripes will enjoy themselves at the
Olympics,” he said.
“I would personally hate to see if
someone would want to make a political show out of the Olympics and
undercut the abilities of all the young people who spent four years
of their life just to be prepared. I want to see fair competition.
Nobody will be discriminated [against].”