beso de oro, en el pódium de 4x400, de Kseniya Ryzhova y Tatyana Firova

Tonight Kseniya Ryzhova and Tatyana Firova, two members of Russia’s women’s 4×400 relay team, defied their nation’s ban on “homosexual propaganda” when they kissed on the podium during the presentation ceremony for their gold medals at the World Track & Field Championships in Moscow.  Just fantastic! Thank you, ladies, thank you! (Tipped by JMG reader Jude)

via Joe. My. God.

Two Russian women runners, Kseniya Ryzhova and Tatyana Firova, kissed as they were awarded their gold medals at the Track and Field World Championships on Saturday at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow – in an apparent act of defiance of Russia’s anti-gay laws barring “homosexual propaganda.”

While a kiss like this between two women — or even two men — is culturally more a sign of friendship in Russia than in the U.S., the timing of the act makes it a challenge to Putin’s new anti-gay laws, as all news reports have stated.

A Google translation from the news website Excelsior notes:

“Russia was proclaimed world champion in the women’s 4x400m relay; Gushchina Yulia, Tatyana Firova, Antonina Krivoshapka Kseniya Ryzhova and clocked a time of 3:20.19. United States took the silver and bronze Britain.

“The Russian runners took to the podium to receive the medal that certifies them as world champions. Since the medal around [her] neck, and Tatyana Firova Ryzhova Kseniya they kissed on the mouth before the eyes of the world.”

No news reports have stated what happened after they kissed, but they are certain to face questioning by both Russian police and sports authorities — if not fines and even possibly, jail.

On Friday, a Russian Olympic athlete considered the top women’s pole vaulter in the world, Yelena Isinbayeva, slammed critics of President Vladimir Putin‘s anti-gay laws by saying that Russians are “normal, standard people” — unlike “European people.”

“It is disrespectful to our citizens. We are Russians. Maybe we are different to European people, to other people in other lands.”

“We are very afraid, and this is my opinion also, that if we allow people to promote and do all this [being openly LGBT] in the street we are scared for our nation.

“We consider us normal people, where boys live with women, women live with boys. It comes from our history. We never had any of these problems in Russia and we don’t want to have it in the future.”

“We have our law which everyone has to respect.”

Isinbayeva also said that homosexuality is a choice and not normal, although she claimed that LGBT athletes were welcome to compete on Russia’s teams. She later claimed she was misunderstood, and blamed her poor English, but did not apologize.