Canadian Olympic Speed Skater Publicly Comes Out
Canadian speed skater Anastasia Bucsis, who is likely go to the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, told Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper on Tuesday that she is "so proud to be gay."
As OutSports reports, Bucsis, 24, is the second Winter Olympics hopeful to come out as gay in response to Russia's highly controversial "homosexual propaganda" law.
"I could never promote that message of concealing who you are with all of this going on in Russia. I'm kind of happy that I did it on my own terms," Bucsis told the Globe and Mail.
The athlete is hoping to qualify for Sochi in long-track speed skating. She's likely to make the cut as she competed for Canada in the 2010 Vancouver Games, is on the national team and has set personal records this year.
Bucsis also said it was important for her to publicly come out so LGBT youth who are struggling with their sexuality know they aren't alone.
Bucsis added that her friend and teammate, Kaylin Irvine, urged her to come out saying, Irvine wanted her "to actually live an authentic life." The athlete said her friends, family and fellow athletes lauded her coming out.
"I...have faith in Russia," she said. "I think - I hope - that things will get better."
A number of gay athletes have spoken out about Russia's anti-gay law and how it will impact the upcoming Olympic Games. American figure skater Johnny Weir, New Zealand speed skater Blake Skjellerup and Australian snowboarder Belle Brockhoff are some of the out athletes who may compete in the Winter Olympics next year. Two weeks ago, Brockhoff came out in reaction to the law.