Pole vault great Yelena Isinbayeva condemned homosexuality Thursday after criticizing fellow competitors who painted their fingernails in rainbow colours to support gays and lesbians in the face of a new anti-gay law in Russia.
The Russian, who won her third world title Tuesday in front of a boisterous home crowd, came out in favour of the law which has drawn sharp criticism and led Western activists to call for a boycott of next year’s Winter Olympics in the Russian resort of Sochi.
“If we allow to promote and do all this stuff on the street, we are very afraid about our nation because we consider ourselves like normal, standard people,” Isinbayeva, a two-time Olympic champion, said in English. “We just live with boys with woman, woman with boys.”
At least two Swedish athletes — high jumper Emma Green Tregaro and sprinter Moa Hjelmer — competed Thursday at Luzhniki Stadium, the same venue that hosted the 1980 Moscow Olympics, with their fingernails painted different colours. (Photos: Moa Hjelmer/Instagram, Emma Green Tregaro/Instagram, Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images)