Svetlana Zhurova: 'Protests don't make sense'

Russian Svetlana Zhurova speaks at a press conference during the 2012 World Distance Speed Skating Championships in Heerenveen on March 24, 2012
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Former Olympic athlete Svetlana Zhurova is bemused by gay rights protests at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, revealing that she doesn't think they make any "sense".

Former Olympic athlete Svetlana Zhurova feels that protesting about gay rights at the 2014 Winter Olympics "doesn't make sense".

The Russian government passed new laws last year banning 'gay propaganda' aimed at children, which has been met with anger from gay rights groups across the world.

Zhurova, mayor of the Olympic village in Sochi, believes that the Games are not the place to delve into such matters.

She told reporters: "For the spectators, it is more important who wins than whether [they are] homosexual or not. [Protesting] doesn't make sense.

"We are all participants of the games and we are going to applaud the straight people and the homosexuals just like the previous Olympic Games. We would root for any athlete. I'm sure there will be no problems."

Zhurova won the gold medal in speed skating in the 2006 Games.

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