US Track Star Nick Symmonds Wins Silver Medal in Russia, Dedicates it to LGBT Friends Back Home

by | August 14, 2013 at 11:39 AM | LGBT

Nick Symmonds of the United States celebrates winning silver in the Men's 800 metres final during Day Four of the 14th IAAF World Athletics Championships Moscow 2013 at Luzhniki Stadium on August 13, 2013 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Oh, I love this – very much.

American runner Nick Symmonds, an established LGBT ally, had vowed not to get political during the World Track and Field Championships in Moscow this week.

But after winning the silver medal in the 800 meters earlier today, he could not stop himself.

The 29-year-old took the bold step of dedicating his medal to his LGBT friends back home.

‘As much as I can speak out about it, I believe that all humans deserve equality as however God made them,’ Symmonds told Russia’s R-Sport after the race.

He added: ‘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.’

Symmonds comments could be a test of Russia’s draconian anti-gay propaganda law which criminalizes public expression of support for ‘nontraditional’ relationships. Foreign citizens are subject to fines of up to 100,000 rubles, up to 15 days in prison, and deportation and denial of re-entry into Russia.

‘I respect Russians’ ability to govern their people,’ said Symmonds. ‘I disagree with their laws. I do have respect for this nation. I disagree with their rules.’

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