Blake Skjellerup: You Can Be Out, And Be An Athlete - FOX 35 News Orlando

Blake Skjellerup: You Can Be Out, And Be An Athlete

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If everything works out the say he wants it to, Blake Skjellerup, the New Zealand speed skater, could be the first Olympian to publicly compete in the winter games as an out gay man.

It's a goal that's even more significant this year because of the anti-gay policies and sentiment that now permeate Russia. But first things first, he's got to qualify, then he must raise the money to fund his journey to Russia, probably about $15,000.

"In 2010 I represented my country in the Winter Olympics in Vancouver," says Skjellerup. And with any luck, "In five months time I will again be representing my country in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi Russia, but I need your help... "

Blake Skjellerup joins Steve Edwards and Maria Sansone on Good Day L.A.

Fun Facts About Blake Skjellerup (Source: Wikipedia)

  • He is a short track speed skater who competed for New Zealand at the 2010 Winter Olympics;finishing sixteenth.
  • He is currently working towards being at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. On August 26th, 2013 Skjellerup launched a crowd source funding campaign on Indiegogo to raise a $15,000 goal to help him qualify for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
  • Skjellerup came out as gay in an interview with Australian magazine, DNA in May 2010, saying he had decided to wait until after the Vancouver Games to do so in order to focus on his performance and to avoid turning off potential sponsors. He is one of only a few openly gay Olympic athletes and was reported as having a boyfriend, also an athlete.
  • In 2011, Skjellerup and Matthew Mitcham, a gay Olympic athlete from Australia, were named by the Federation of Gay Games as ambassadors to the 2014 Gay Games in Cleveland, Ohio. Skjellerup also became an advocate for Pink Shirt Day, a nationwide campaign to fight bullying in New Zealand.

Twitter: @BlakeSkjellerup


 

 

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