From the CBC:
Could this be the gayest Olympics ever? LGBT rights, sexual identity at forefront of Games despite Russia's attempt to silence activism By Matt Kwong
A rainbow-inspired Google Doodle. Openly gay delegates sent to Sochi by foreign governments. A viral PSA promoting inclusiveness of LGBT athletes.
This could be adding up to be the most LGBT-conscious Games in history, says former gold-medal Olympic swimmer and openly gay athlete Mark Tewksbury.
"I don't know if it's a watershed moment, but it's certainly a bit of a tipping point. It shows that the world as I knew it back in 1992 as a closeted athlete has changed," he said.
If it wasn't already clear from global press images of demonstrators hoisting signs depicting President Vladimir Putin in drag, the 2014 Sochi Winter Games has been unable to shake the gay-rights controversy.
The uproar was also Russia's own doing, stemming from the country's passage of legislation last June to punish people for the spread of homosexual "propaganda." The law drew condemnation around the world for being vague and stigmatizing gay identity.
"Sometimes things backfire," Tewksbury said. "Trying to make this a non-issue, well, guess what — it's a huge issue."
Referring to Sochi mayor Anatoly Pakhomov's declaration to the BBC that his coastal town has no gay residents, Tewksbury said, "You cannot tell me there wasn't a single gay person in that opening ceremony."
Commentators already pointed out the use of gay composer Tchaikovsky's music during the show, as well as a performance from faux-lesbian singing duo t.A.T.u.
Tewksbury noted it was unusual for an International Olympic Committee president to make political overtures at an Olympic opening ceremony. He was surprised, then, when the IOC's Thomas Bach seemed to address the controversy over Russia's anti-gay laws during his remarks at Sochi's Fisht Olympic Stadium.