Think back to Sochi 2014. There were a lot of protests of Russia’s antigay legislation, especially leading up to the Games. Here are some of them.
But there wasn’t any concrete action taken against Sochi or for LGBTQ athletes going there. However, after Sochi 2014 has been a different story.
After Sochi 2014, the International Olympic Committee added “sexual orientation” to its sixth principle of Olympism. Now, athletes are protected from “discrimination of any kind, such as race, color, sex, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”
The Canadian Olympic Committee also had a reaction, and that was when the #OneTeam Campaign was formed. Sponsored by the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), You Can Play, and Egale Canada Human Rights Trust, this campaign was started to create a more inclusive environment for LGBTQ athletes and youth in sports and in schools. After launching this campaign, the Canadian Olympic Committee expressed that “it believes that sport should be a welcoming space for all, where all participants can feel safe to be their true selves, increasing participation and allowing athletes to compete to the best of their ability.”
The #OneTeam Campaign consists of three parts. The first was a revision to the COC’s own anti-discrimination articles to explicitly include LGBTQ athletes and coaches. Second, the LGBTQ Resource was introduced to the Canadian School Program, an online resource that provides Canadian educators with Olympic-themed supplies for their classroom. Topics covered include the sport environment, mental fitness, and tips on creating LGBTQ safer spaces in schools. (The link to the resource can be found here). The third part of the campaign is the Athlete Ambassador Program, which brings LGBTQ and straight Olympians to schools across Canada to teach students about equality and inclusion in sport.
Here is a PSA video featuring the Athlete Ambassadors:
Kate Moorhouse, Manager of Education, Youth, and Community Outreach for the COC said that although the #OneTeam Campaign is currently focused on inclusion for LGBTQ athletes in sports, the COC would like to expand its message to include all diversity. It wants to make Team Canada one team for all athletes regardless of gender, sexual orientation, type of sport, or disability.