The doodle highlights a section of the Olympic Charter that conflicts with a new Russian law against public support of gay and lesbian lifestyles.
On the eve of the XXII Winter Olympics opening ceremony, Google is taking a stand for athletes, gay, straight, or otherwise, with a new doodle on the Internet search engine’s web site.
A piece of the Olympic Charter is quoted beneath illustrations of several Winter Olympic sports:
“The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.”
The doodle is reportedly a response to Russian anti-gay legislation, signed into law last year by President Vladimir Putin, with a vow to enforce it during the Winter Olympic Games, which are being held in Sochi, Russia, now through Feb. 23.
The law can impose fines on individuals accused of spreading “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” to minors, and even proposes penalties for expressing these views online or in the news media. Gay pride rallies also are banned.
The Olympic Charter, as found on the Olympic.org website, “is the codification of the Fundamental Principles of Olympism, Rules and Bye-Laws [sic] adopted by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).”
The Olympic Charter quotation used in the Google doodle is the fourth “Fundamental Principle of Olympism” out of seven.
This images differs from most Google doodles in its color scheme. Instead of keeping the colors in the order of the Google logo, it arranges them in rainbow order, a nod to the flags and banners used to represent lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals.
The Winter Olympic sports illustrated in the doodle are, from left to right, downhill skiing, ice hockey, curling, bobsledding, figure skating, and snowboarding.