Today the International Olympic Committee (IOC) selected Beijing as the site of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. Beijing and Almaty, Kazakhstan, were both contenders.
Athlete Ally and more than 30 Olympic, Paralympic and professional athletes sent an open letter to the IOC earlier this year urging the committee to use its voice to speak out against an anti-gay piece of legislation in Kazakstan that was incompatible with the Olympic Movement. Following this advocacy work, the legislation did not advance into law.
“We were pleased to see that Kazakhstan eliminated their anti-gay propaganda bill in keeping with the sixth principle of Olympism, and we believe respect and inclusion are key to the spirit and values of the Olympics,” said Hudson Taylor, Founder and Executive Director of Athlete Ally. “But we will continue to keep a watchful eye on the events leading up to the 2022 games. It is critical that all people are treated fairly, and given China’s record on human rights, including LGBT rights, we are hopeful that the IOC will require meaningful human rights protections in its contracts with Beijing.”
“Athlete Ally and the hundred+ Olympic, Paralympic and professional athletes with whom we work, will continue to work to ensure that the 2022 Olympics will be free from discrimination for every individual the games impact,” Taylor said.
More on Athlete Ally’s work around Kazakhstan:
Open Letter to the IOC: http://www.athleteally.org/news/open-letter-ioc-kazakhstans-anti-gay-legislation/
Kazakhstan Response: http://www.athleteally.org/news/kazakhstan-responds-pressure-athlete-ally-ioc-strikes-down-gay-propaganda-bill/
Athlete Ally’s mission is to educate and activate athletic communities to eliminate homophobia and transphobia in sports and to exercise their leadership to champion LGBT equality. Founded in 2012, Athlete Ally has worked with the NBA, WNBA, and MLB on matters of respect and inclusion; led the Principle 6 campaign that convinced the International Olympic Committee to include sexual orientation in the non-discrimination clause of the Olympic Charter; and counts more than 100 college, professional, and Olympic athletes among its dedicated and active Ambassadors.