Russian Athletes Deny Kiss Heard Round the World Was Protest of Antigay Laws

Yulia Gushchina and Ksenia Ryzhova say speculation over the kiss they shared at World Athletics Championships in Moscow was the product of 'sick fantasies.'
By: Jase Peeples
August 20 2013 4:09 PM

When two Russian athletes were photographed kissing after winning gold in the women’s 4x400-meter relay race at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow, the press immediately began to speculate that the lip lock was in protest of the country’s antigay laws. But the teammates who shared a same-sex smooch are denying it had anything to do with LGBT people and are “insulted” that anyone could think the display was “gay propaganda,” reports

According to Yulia Gushchina and Ksenia Ryzhova, the lip lock they shared was nothing more than “happiness for our team.”

“It was a storm of emotions [after winning]. And if at that moment we touched lips ... I don’t know in whose fantasy this all gets thought up,” Ryzhova said at an ItarTass news conference, adding, “Myself and Yulia are both married, and we are not having any kind of relationship.”

Her teammate echoed Ryzhova’s comments, saying the assumptions the press made about their kiss were “sick fantasies.”  

“Yesterday, I was telephoned 20 times by various publications and instead of congratulating me they decided to insult me with these questions,” Gushchina said at the same news conference, noting she thought the speculation was “insulting” to not only her and her teammate, but their coaches as well.

The reaction to the kiss by both the press and the athletes highlights the growing tension over Russia’s recently passed antigay law and the effect it may have on the upcoming Winter Games in Sochi.

Like SheWired on Facebook 

Follow SheWired on Twitter 

Facebook Twitter RSS
Email Updates
To begin receiving the SheWired weekly newsletter, please fill out the form below and click Subscribe.