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  1. #1
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    Johnny Weir v. former Olympic Gymnast, Peter Vidmar

    http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/...hnny-weir.html

    Peter Vidmar has been selected a USOC Chief of Mission and Johnny Weir has something to say about it due to Peter's viewpoints on Same Sex Marriage

    This is a weird marriage [no pun intended] of Figure Skating and Gymnastics, of which there are many fans on this board.

    What do you all think?

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    Quote Originally Posted by olympic View Post
    http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/...hnny-weir.html

    Peter Vidmar has been selected a USOC Chief of Mission and Johnny Weir has something to say about it due to Peter's viewpoints on Same Sex Marriage

    This is a weird marriage [no pun intended] of Figure Skating and Gymnastics, of which there are many fans on this board.

    What do you all think?
    Vidmar has since stepped down.
    http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/...medium=twitter

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    Michelle is available.

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    The more I watch Phil and his stories the more I think he has great insight, and really broke the story resulting in Vidmar's step down. Think about it, the Olympics is about equality, and I think Johnny was spot on, as having Vidmar with his views would be like having someone who thinks African Americans are wrong. The personal views of anyone as it relates to their political views, sexual preferences, race, color and creed, need to be kept out of sports and especially out of the judging considerations at USFS events. And you all know what I am talking about, as we don't need to bring up those PCS scores and the US judges who didn't judge based on what they saw in skating, but used their power to push their belief in what the US wanted as a skater image.

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    Agree, if it's not something that can be fixed, and I don't believe sexual preference can be "fixed", it should have no bearing. Would you ask an African athlete to look Swedish? Everyone deserves to be judged on what they do, not on what the judges prefer.
    AceOn6, the golf loving skating fan

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    Quote Originally Posted by kittyjake5 View Post
    Michelle is available.
    Yes please. I think she would be an amazing chef de mision.

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    i have a feeling michelle might be the chef de mision in sochi.
    Last edited by lexeoe; 05-08-2011 at 02:57 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lexeoe View Post
    i have a feeling michelle might be the chef de mision on sochi.
    Who says?! I overheard Michelle would be too busy competing in Sochi... especially with the new team event, she will be even more busy...

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    I would have no problem with Vidmar believing that marriage should be restricted to one man/one woman if only his personal beliefs were involved. The U.S. Olympic team should be inclusive of everyone, regardless of faith or beliefs about personal relationships. But since he's been a public, political activist in seeking that legal definition of marriage be codified into law, I do think that makes him unsuited to represent a diverse U.S. team.

    Michelle would be awesome if, as Itnskater says, she's not too busy.

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    ^^ ITA! Also, glad to hear that Vidmar has since stepped down.


    Someone who posted in the comments section of the article made a great point:

    "'The Church has a single, undeviating standard of sexual morality'
    Undeviating? Oh really? 100 years ago the 'Church' said a man could have as many wives as he wanted and that was perfectly moral. Why is it that the Church of Mormon can change its definition of marriage but the rest of society cannot?
    The bottom line is: should a man who campaigned to take away rights from fellow citizens be held up as a model for young people, and given a position to represent the entire United States? I say NO."

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    I'm not at all thrilled with this, and I'm a strong supporter of gay marriage. If a woman was appointed to the same position who was anti-abortion, I'd still feel the same way. When we have these kind of litmus tests for these kinds of appointed positions, we open the door to the next litmus test being one we really don't like when the "other" group gains power.

    Peter Vidmar competed long and honorably as an inter-collegiate and the Olympic gymnast. Those are the qualifications that should have been considered, and the push to get him to step down was, imo, ill-considered, and likely to make those opposed to gay marriage feel even more strongly that the "gay lobby" has too much power.

    The bottom line is this: there is massive disagreement within the US about gay marriage, and attitudes are slowly shifting in favor of it. But actions such as this one do not do anything except convince others that more anti-gay legislation is needed. Be careful what you wish for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post
    When we have these kind of litmus tests for these kinds of appointed positions, we open the door to the next litmus test being one we really don't like when the "other" group gains power.
    Well said...I absolutely agree.

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    Both of Hershs' articles make uncomfortable reading for me due to their 'witchhunt' elements. Hersh got the result of Peter Vidmar resigning from the job of chef de mission of the 2012 US Olympic Team to write about. He was helped a great deal by the input of Johnny Weir.

    It would still make uncomfortable reading if Peter Vidmar was a public supporter of same sex marriage, and had to step down due to the controversy of that support.

    While Johnny Weir will be proud of his input into the situation, and the gay community will be toasting and congratulating him, I can't help wondering whether Peter Vidmar, who was a 'disgraceful' appointment, may well have done an excellent job as chef de mission. We will never know. He and his family must have been initially proud of his appointment, just as Johnny Weir and his family would have been proud of him being chosen to represent the USA at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

    Philip Hersh has now moved on to writing about playoffs and the Kentucky Derby. It appears that neither he nor Johnny Weir have any feelings of responsibility for the manner in which Peter Vidmar resigned.

    I would like to say that I have always supported the gay community, but the fascist manner (i.e. opposition is not allowed) worries me in this case.

    'Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones'. Chaucer 1385. Troilus & Criseyde.

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    It's an East Coast vs. West Coast thing.

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    Canada's chef de mission for the 2012 Summer Games is Mark Tewksbury, who is also an Olympic medalist, and who has also been involved in sport administration and in the Olympic administration.He also has a very admirable record of activism on behalf of athletes, and of promotion of their interests and concerns. He's also openly gay and is an activist on gay issues.

    If I might play devil's advocate here, should he also be asked to step down because he might discriminate against athletes who don't share his views?
    Who wants to watch rich people eat pizza? They must have loved that in Bangladesh. - Randy Newman on the 2014 Oscars broadcast

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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    Canada's chef de mission for the 2012 Summer Games is Mark Tewksbury, who is also an Olympic medalist, and who has also been involved in sport administration and in the Olympic administration.He also has a very admirable record of activism on behalf of athletes, and of promotion of their interests and concerns. He's also openly gay and is an activist on gay issues.

    If I might play devil's advocate here, should he also be asked to step down because he might discriminate against athletes who don't share his views?
    If he is actively campaigning against straight marriage then - yes. Being a gay rights' activist doesn't mean that you want to deny the same rights to the other members of the society. It's not like one group's civil rights come from the expense of others.

    I don't think it is so much about personal preferences or beliefs, but rather campaigning against something in public.

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    Seriously. overedge, I know you're playing Devil's advocate, but it's exactly that kind of ridiculous argument that peopple give (undeserving) real weight too. If I'm campaigning against people's rights, than it doesn't matter what those rights are, I shouldn't be held up as a model for others to emulate.

    mike1970, can you explain to me how you feel gay-rights activists are acting in a fascist manner here?

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    I wonder how folks would feel if another chef de mission is "unselected" because he/she is pro-choice? I suspect that the pro-life contingent feels pretty strongly about that as a disqualifying attribute.

    If you're campaigning against Palestinian rights for a separate government, does that make you "off limits" too? How about if you are of Turkish-American ancestry and don't believe in the Armenian genocide? If it is 1912 and you have campaigned against women getting the right to vote? If it is 2011 and you've campaigned against legalizing marijuana? I'm sure that there are many dope smokers who see that as a pretty serious infringement on their rights.

    Personally, I draw a significant distinction between candidates for public office, whose every position is legitimate to consider when voting, and appointees to this kind of post, where the person's general background, behavior, and skills ought be the consideration, and not their specific political views unless those are substantially outside the mainstream. Gay marriage is something that little more than half the adult American population supports even mildly, and someone who has worked to oppose it is not in any way outside the mainstream -- and I say that as a supporter of gay rights and gay marriage.

    If gay marriage advocates insist on tarring everyone who opposes their cause as evil and to be drummed out of any public role in society, they are much more likely to harden hearts against them than to find new converts.

    Part of growing up includes recognition that not everyone who disagrees with you on some issue of importance to you is evil and must be banned from any public role or punished for their views. I hope Johnny grows up one day, though that may be a lost cause.

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    I have no problems being intolerant of intolerance. I have never understood why people assume I should tolerate hate in any form.

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    I don't understand why this is being made into a Johnny vs Peter issue. Yes Johnny was quoted in Phil Hersh's article but I'm sure there are others who feel the same way. Just because Johnny (so far) is the only athlete willing to voice his opposition, don't make it into a "Johnny has to grow up" issue.

    Besides, I really doubt that Peter Vidmar resigned just because Johnny Weir was quoted in Phil Hersh's column. There must had been others who put pressure on Peter to resign, they just aren't brave enough to come forward and don't forget, Hersh must had gone to Johnny asking for a comment, not the other way around.

    How could anyone expect Peter to stand up for all the Olympic athletes if he can't stand the pressure of one Phil Hersh article?

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