Slopestyle skiing competition in Sochi. Photo: Sergei Grits/TT
Sochi 2014

Swedish freestyle skiers stage rainbow headphone protest

Members of the Swedish Olympic freestyle skiing troupe have brought rainbow-coloured headphones to the winter games in Sochi as a protest against the suppression of LGBT rights in Russia.

"Everyone should have the right to think and do as they wish," Swedish freestyle skiing champion Henrik Harlaut told tabloid Expressen.

Mogul skier Per Spett's coach, Jesper Björnlund, was spotted wearing the rainbow-coloured headphones on Monday. On Tuesday, national team coaches Patrik Nyberg and Jan Aikio wore the headphones as Emma Dahlström competed in the new Olympic sporting event slopestyle.

And the protest looks set to grow. Harlaut told Expressen that the entire freestyle troupe bought rainbow-coloured headphones in Sweden before traveling to Russia.

Commenting on his coaches' silent protest, Harlaut said: "It's up to everyone what they choose to do, but of course they want to represent everyone's rights, to show that everyone's the same. It doesn't matter if they're this, that or the other. I do understand them."

Harlaut said he may put his own headphones on after competing.

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