Swedish athlete persecuted for rainbow fingernails

This video is called Sports, Politics, and Propaganda: The Nazi Olympics of 1936 (NHD 2011).

In 1936, the Olympic games were in Berlin, in Hitler‘s nazi Germany.

Sports officials like Avery Brundage in the USA were very much against athletes or spectators protesting against anti-Semitism, concentration camps, or other atrocities of Hitler’s Third Reich. Such protests, they said, would be “political”. And Olympics, and sports in general, should be “non-political”. Meanwhile, there were nazi swastikas everywhere at Olympic venues. Nazi propagandist Leni Riefenstahl made the official Olympic movie. Not only German athletes and sports bureaucrats, also many foreign athletes and sports bureaucrats did nazi salutes. All that was not political in the mindset of Avery Brundage and his ilk.

Jewish athletes passed over in 1936 Olympics to be honored in Berlin. U.S. sprinters Marty Glickman and Sam Stoller prevented from competing at the Berlin games will be posthumously honored at the 2015 European Maccabi Games there: here.

In 1968, Olympics again. In Mexico City.

This blog noted:

On October 16, 1968, the medals ceremony at the Mexico Olympics was converted into a symbolic demonstration of the struggle against oppression.

US black sprinters Tommy Smith and John Carlos, respectively first and third in the men’s 200 metres, defiantly raised clenched fist salutes as the American national anthem played.

Their stand in support of civil rights and against racism reverberated internationally.

The photograph of their protest has become one of the most recognised images in the world, after that of the first moon landing.

The unexpected silver medalist, 26-year-old Australian Peter Norman, wore a button of the “Olympic Project for Human Rights”—a civil rights protest movement set up by black athlete Harry Edwards before the Games—in support of his two fellow athletes.

These three athletes were punished harshly for daring to be ‘political’. While Avery Brundage, of 1936 Hitler Olympics infamy, was still Olympics big boss. Not political at all [sarcasm off].

Meanwhile, Olympics and other major sports events, like football World Cups, have become very entangled with corporate sponsors.

This video from Canada in 2010 says about itself:

The Drink of the Death Squads

Choir performance at a transit station in Vancouver of a song by David Rovics, in front of Coke [Coca-Cola] advertising, just before transit police arrive.

Coke is an official sponsor of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver beginning Feb. 12.

According to the 21st century successors of Avery Brundage, it is not political to have Coca-Cola, linked to death squads in Colombia, as Olympics sponsor. Having a choir sing a song against that death squad link in front of a Coca-Cola billboard, however, is political. So, the police arrive and arrest the choir.

From 2010 in Canada to 2013 in Moscow, Russia. And a Swedish woman’s fingernails.

Emma Green-Tregaro painted her nails in rainbow colours (Image: Twitter)

From Pink News in Britain:

Swedish athlete at Moscow Athletics Championship advised to change her rainbow painted nails


17 August 2013, 4:36pm

The Swedish high jumper who painted her fingernails in the colours of the rainbow to campaign against anti-gay laws in Russia has been told she could be in violation of the code of conduct at the world championships.

High jumper Emma Green-Tregaro, 28, made the show of support for Russia’s LGBT community on Thursday by painting her nails in the rainbow colours for the qualifying round of the event.

“It felt right,” she said, also telling Reuters that she got the idea when she saw an actual rainbow over Moscow. “I wouldn’t say it was a protest more of a statement of what I think.”

“When I first came to Moscow, the first thing I saw when I opened the curtains was a rainbow over Moscow and I thought that was a pretty good sign,” she said, continuing to say that 200 meters runner Moa Hjelmer had also done the same.

Recently however, athletics officials have advised Ms Green-Tregaro not to repeat the nail-painting gesture in the world championship high-jump final at Luzhniki Stadium on Saturday.

Anders Albertsson, the general secretary of the Swedish athletics federation, spoke to reporters outside the stadium on the issue.

He said: “We have been informally approached by the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) saying that this is by definition, a breach of the regulations. We have informed our athletes about this.”

He added: “The code of conduct clearly states the rules do not allow any commercial or political statements during the competition.”

Mr Albertsson said the Swedish delegation had not put pressure on Ms Tregaro to change the colour of her fingernails, but “understood from Swedish media her nails are now red.”

Ms Tregaro should hope now that, after anti LGBTQ bigots persecuting her for rainbow fingernails, there will not be now anti-socialist bigots claiming that her red fingernails are supposedly a sign of support for a workers’ revolution.

He said: “If she knows she might be breaking the rules, that’s a decision she takes, we don’t have any objections on how they paint their fingernails”.

Ms Tregaro’s painted nails also prompted Russia’s pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva to brand her “disrespectful to our country”.

Ms Isinbayeva, an ambassador for next year’s Winter Olympics to be staged in Sochi, recently came under controversy for saying she supported the Russian anti-gay laws.

President Vladimir Putin signed the law in June banning the promotion of “non-traditional relationships” toward minors, a move that has been criticised as part of a broader crackdown on Russia’s gay community.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said they are currently seeking “clarification” from Russia on how the law will be applied.

On Monday, the Russian Interior Ministry confirmed that recently introduced anti-gay legislation will remain in force during the Sochi games.

A petition which has gathered over 150,000 signatures, calls for the 2014 games to be relocated to Vancouver, following the passage of anti-gay laws in Russia.

Though the intention of the petition, opposing the homophobic law in Russia, is honourable, I have doubts about transferring to Vancouver. We have seen what happens there to choir singers singing about Olympic sponsors-death squads links. And there are homophobes in Canada’s governing Conservative party, like in the governing party in Russia.

This video from Canada is called Stephen Harper and the Homophobe -O- Tory Party.

In an interview last week, a senior International Olympics Committee member said: “Russia must respect the Olympic Charter, or we will say goodbye to them”, broaching the question of relocating the games with the IOC for the first time.

The international football governing body FIFA yesterday called on Russia to give “clarification and more details” about the laws ahead of the 2018 World Cup due to take place in the country.

Female Russian Athletes Kiss After Winning Gold In Possible Protest Of Anti-Gay Law: here.

15 thoughts on “Swedish athlete persecuted for rainbow fingernails

  1. I am a Christian, and to me the rainbow signifies something special between God and mankind. The rainbow reminds me of His promise. For those of you Christians, I’m sure you might all relate. I can’t wait until He returns! 🙂


    • Indeed, rainbows may refer to Christian symbolism; or to equal rights rainbow flags; or to a rainbow the athlete saw in Moscow just before the championship; etc. Like, as I said, red fingernails may remind some people of socialism, some others of … etc.


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