08/08/2013 10:52 am ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

I'm An Openly Gay Gold Medalist And I Reject The Sochi Olympics Boycott

As an openly gay Olympic four-time gold medalist, you might expect that I would be in favor of joining prominent LGBT activists in calling for America to boycott the 2014 Winter Olympic games in Sochi, Russia.

After all, Russia’s recently passed laws cracking down on gays and lesbians violate everything I’ve spent my career fighting for; namely, love and respect for all people. It was hard enough to compete as a gay, closeted athlete in the United States. It’s hard to imagine what it must be like for gay athletes in Russia, knowing that if you were to come out, you would be considered a criminal and could lose everything you’ve worked your entire life to achieve.

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