American distance runner Nick Symmonds dedicated his silver medal
win in the 800-meters at the World Championships in Moscow to his gay
and lesbian friends.
The 29-year-old Symmonds had earlier pledged not to criticize
Russia's controversial anti-gay law while competing.
“As much as I can speak out about it, I believe that all humans
deserve equality as however God made them,” Symmonds told R-Sport.
“Whether you're gay, straight, black, white, we all deserve the
same rights. If there's anything I can do to champion the cause and
further it, I will, shy of getting arrested.”
In an August 6 blog post for Runner's World magazine,
Symmonds criticized the law – which prohibits the promotion of “gay
propaganda” to minors – and vowed he would not discuss it while
“I respect Russians' ability to govern their people. I disagree
with their laws. I do have respect for this nation. I disagree with
Symmonds explained in remarks to CNN why he broke his pledge.
“That really powerful clip that you had of two Russian women
kissing in a street and a man coming and shoving them to the ground
based on nothing more than they want to express their love for each
other. I was just appalled and I couldn't stay silent anymore,” he
told CNN. (The video is embedded on this page. Visit
our video library for more videos.)