Although McDonald's has abandoned the #CheersToSochi hashtag, the Cheers to Sochi campaign website is still up and functioning and, according to their press and social media updates, still a conduit to talk to Olympic athletes and teams behind Putin's Lavender Curtain.
When we woke up on competition day, my husband and I were nervous. Very, nervous! As a mom, it's hard to be the voice of reason when all you want is for your child to achieve his dream, but I had to stay positive for him and my other children.
In part 2 of my interview with her, Michelle reveals her proudest win in her long figure skating career -- when she says "There was no heaviness... I was simply present." She also gives advice on how everyone can win in life.
Did I lose you with the "gay" bit? Let me explain. Love it or hate it, since time immemorial, there is likely one guy or gal out of every 10 who is gay. Lots of former Olympians compete in Gay Games. And -- finally getting to the point -- lots of gays compete in the Olympics.
The United Nations should return to the Olympic Truce language that specifically excludes LGBT people. Masking over the discrimination that we face and giving cover to governments like Russia only make us invisible and set back our advancement toward true equality.
The Olympics have no economic benefit, no true benefit to sport (at least relative to alternatives), prove nothing for the nation, and serve to legitimize authoritarian regimes. The United States government shouldn't support them.
If the IOC continues looking the other way when it comes to religious "propaganda" but punishing and silencing athletes who take a stand for LGBT equality under the guise of "political propaganda," it will be complicit in Russia's egregious human rights violations.
Russia's recent anti-gay legislation contradicts the letter and spirit of the Olympic Charter, and the International Olympic Committee must acknowledge that and find a more tolerant and civilized host country. This is not just another political issue; this is an issue of basic human rights.
Recently, laws in Russia have questioned the morals of a sector of humanity, and I wonder how it has impacted the passion of our young athletes. If I'd known I was gay as a child and these laws were standing then, would it have turned me off the sport of gymnastics?
I must disagree with the venerable Greg Louganis. The U.S. Olympic Committee should expeditiously threaten to boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics and encourage other countries to join in. Then the IOC will be forced to take up Canada's offer to have the Games moved to Vancouver.
As we focus our immediate efforts on the Olympics and Russia, we should remain mindful of the numerous other nations in which LGBT people face even greater, life-threatening persecution and devise strategies to impact their nations as well.
Merely hoping for an inspirational moment to present itself during the 2014 Winter Olympics isn't fair to anyone. By moving the Games to another location, we can avoid endangering athletes. Those of us who support LGBT rights would be just as inspired by a gay champion in Vancouver.
Russia is an unsuitable and unstable nation that is unqualified to host a major world event. No country is perfect, but when Russia was awarded the 2014 Winter Olympics in 2007, few people knew that its warts were actually tumors.
This week I talked with David McFarland, the founder and CEO of United for Equality in Sports & Entertainment (UESE), the nation's first and only organization dedicated solely to advancing and achieving equality in sports and entertainment for the LGBT community.
This global call urged the IOC to condemn Russia's anti-gay law before the Olympic Games and urge Russia to ensure the security of all visitors, athletes and Russian people before, during, and after the Games.
Even if Putin himself signs a decree stating that no LGBT persons will be subjected to Russia's draconian laws and that their safety will be guaranteed, boycotting the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi or pulling out completely is still the right thing to do.