Gay Olympian Iraschko-Stolz lets ski jump success speak for her

Agence France-Presse

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Austrian veteran ski jumper Daniela Iraschko-Stolz said Sunday she will not protest Russia's controversial stance on gay rights, preferring to let her results speak for her.

ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDEST. Daniela Iraschko-Stolz of Austria during the training session on the Women's Normal Hill at the Russki Gorki Jumping Centre at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games. Photo by Valdrin Xhemaj/EPA

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia – Austrian veteran ski jumper Daniela Iraschko-Stolz said Sunday she will not protest Russia’s controversial stance on gay rights, preferring to let her results speak for her.

The openly gay athlete, who got married last autumn, dominated the women’s second training on the normal hill, showing she was ready to grab a historic first Olympic gold.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea to make protests here, no one cares,” said the 30-year-old, who added her partner’s name – Stolz – to hers upon marriage.

“To jump pretty good is also a statement.”

“I’m together with my partner now and don’t have any problems, not in Russia or with the Austrian federation. Ten years ago it was different,” she recalled.

“I know Russia will go and make the right steps in the future and we should give them time.”

(READ: The lone Filipino Winter Olympian)

The 2011 world champion finished first in two of the three training jumps on Sunday, before sitting out the third.

Seventeen-year-old sensation and current World Cup leader Sara Takanashi was second, third and first.

“I would like to have more time to adjust to the hill because there are none like this in Japan. I’m not really happy with my three jumps,” admitted Takanashi.

POPPING BOTTLES. Daniela Iraschko-Stolz (L) of Austria lets the champagne flow after winning silver at the women’s Ski Jumping World Cup in Austria earlier just last week. Sara Takanashi (right) of Japan, came in first and will be her biggest mogul towards a gold in Sochi. Photo by Barbara Gindl/EPA

“I have already decided everything tactically and I’m going to stick to it.”

Completing the top three were Germany’s Carina Vogt, currently second in the World Cup, and Takanashi’s compatriot Yuki Ito, confirming results from the first training that put the four in pole position for Tuesday’s medal event.

Like on Saturday, Iraschko-Stolz — almost an oldie on the circuit with most of her rivals a decade younger — was the only competitor to jump over the 100-meter mark.

Reigning world champion Sarah Hendrickson continued to struggle, finishing 27th and 23rd out of 30 jumpers in her two attempts.

(READ: US, Canada dismiss talk of figure skating ‘fix’ at Winter Olympics)

The US teenager has been touted as a potential medal contender but is still fighting back after a knee operation five months ago and already had to make do with bottom-five placings on Saturday.

“I still have pain in my knee. There’s no need to jump too far. I don’t want to sacrifice anything,” said the American.

Women’s ski jumping makes its Olympic debut in Sochi after a decade-long battle to get the sport included at the world’s biggest sporting event.

Their absence so far has been in contrast to men’s ski jumping, which has featured at every Olympics since the Winter Games began in 1924 in Chamonix, France.

A first women’s gold will be decided on Tuesday evening under the floodlights of the RusSki Gorki ski jumping centre.

A third and final training will take place on Monday. –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!