Re: Nick Symmonds, silver medallist in 800m, dedicates medal to gay people
A Russian athlete denied on Tuesday that she had intended to show her disapproval of her country's "anti-gay propaganda" law when she kissed a teammate on the lips on the winners' podium at the Moscow world championships.
Kseniya Ryzhova said she was insulted that the Russian 4x400m relay team's victory celebrations on Saturday had been overshadowed by speculation in the Western media that the kiss with Yulia Gushchina had been intended as a protest.
"There was no hidden political motive," she said of the kiss, shown by television channels around the world.
"Instead of congratulating the athletes, they (the press) decided to insult not only Yulia but the whole (Russian) athletics federation. First of all, both Yulia and I are married," she said to applause from Russian journalists.
It is not uncommon for close women friends to kiss on the lips in Russia.
Ryzhova said she and the other three members of the Russian relay team had been overjoyed by their success in narrowly defeating the U.S. team on Saturday.
"For eight years we have not won a gold medal. You can't even imagine what it was like ... when we understood that we'd won," she said.
"It was a wave of unbelievable feelings and if somehow, completely by chance, while we were congratulating each other, our lips touched ... whoever fantasizes about that is sick."
Gushchina and Ryzhova declined to comment on the law, saying they had been too busy preparing for the world championships to think much about it.
"I have not heard or read (about it) because of the world championships," Gushchina told journalists.