The lead up to this year’s Sochi games has forced me to reevaluate my values, both as an openly queer woman, and as an Olympic medallist. I know firsthand the level of dedication and sacrifice most of our Canadian athletes apply to their training and competing, and my heart aches for them to see many of their dreams so close to being fulfilled. however, I cannot and will not support an event run by those who do not advocate for LGBTQI equality. I will not tune in, or turn on, and fill the pockets of giant advertising conglomerates making money off such an event.
To everyone one of my training partners, fellow Canadian Olympians, and current teammates – this is not meant to undermine in any way the hard work you have all put in. you deserve to have the chance to compete on the world stage, but not at the expense of basic human rights. I might be alone in this sentiment, but I think it needs to be said: being a Olympic athlete is a privilege, and it is a profession that rewards selfishness above all else. this type of mindset is, unfortunately, what minority groups have to fight against every single day in order to be heard.
That is why I cannot watch the Sochi games. I’m proud of our athletes and our country for taking small stands where they can to combat LGBTQIA hate, but I cannot and will not watch the televised coverage, and line the pockets of those who are benefiting from human rights abuse. this not an attack, a call to arms, or a boycott. I am wanting and hoping for the best, for all our Canadian athletes. but in our capitalist society, consumers have the power to affect change, and I refuse to consume while lives are being exploited.