Finnish Olympian swimmer Ari-Pekka Liukkonen comes out to raise awareness about Sochi

In order to raise awareness about Russia’s anti-LGBT laws, Finnish Olympic swimmer Ari-Pekka Liukkonen came out. He is now the first openly gay Finnish athlete to come out during his active career. "I wanted to start a broader discussion in connection with Sochi, because it’s sad that the legislation in Russia restricts the human rights of young people and others," says Liukkonen.

"I hope that in Finland we can get to the stage where we don’t need to talk about this anymore as soon as possible," says Liukkonen. "Homosexuality is the same kind of characteristic as whether a person has blue or brown eyes, or whether they are left- or right-handed."

"It’s a really great feeling that I can finally be myself," added Liukkonen.

His announcement just a couple days before the opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics reminds us of the importance of the discussion about equality. All of the recent coming out stories are significant for the equality movement around the world.

Congratulate Ari-Pekka Liukkonen by sharing the graphic below.