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'Y.M.C.A' played at full blast at speedskating arena

SOCHI, Russia (AP) - "Y.M.C.A," for many a gay anthem, was played at full blast by organizers over the public address system at the Adler Arena speedskating oval during Saturday's competition.

With the crowd dancing and hopping to the disco hit of the Village People, the organizers pre-empted a difficult choice for the Dutch brass band that always performs at Olympic speed skating ovals, since Kleintje Pils feared performing the song might antagonize the Russian authorities.

The oompah band will arrive only next weekend and had feared it might impede a ban on information about "nontraditional sexual relations" signed into law by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Band leader Ruud Bakker said he wanted to include it in its sing-along repertoire as "a signal" even though he did not want to become part of a "political game." Over the past weeks, it briefly threatened to become a political issue in the Netherlands, known for its liberal views on sexuality.

Now that organizers played the song themselves, the issue appears to be off the table. Venue organizers can pick from a playlist of 4,600 tracks approved by the Sochi organizing committee, said venue press manager Cornelia Schmid.

It went on during an intermission at the oval when a presenter asked a fan what song she wanted to hear. When it turned out to be "Y.M.C.A," the tune was immediately unleashed on the crowd.

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Dan February 09 2014 at 8:22 AM

And now for an encore, It's Raining Men?

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1 reply
redwingirish Dan February 09 2014 at 8:43 AM

You would enjoy that!

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pattieromano February 09 2014 at 8:59 AM

Um maybe I am off on this But since when is the YMCA a gay Anthem?? I suggest you listen or even read the lyrics

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3 replies
Frank February 09 2014 at 9:07 AM

Ok, I have read several post saying how this is an embarisment to America. Please learn to read. This was the DUTCH

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mphseason February 09 2014 at 1:14 PM

.......you coverage is terrible ....turn the cameras on, inject commercials every half hour, and we can read what is typed in for closed caption....Costa and the whole NBC group, maybe we will get lucky and Russia will kick you out for reporting lies.....we can only hope...imo

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tx80111 February 09 2014 at 2:01 PM

I feel the coverage of the Olympics has been disgusting. This is about the worlds greatest athletes coming together to compete, it should not be some bashfest of Russia and it culture. The "cold war" is suppose to be over, let's grow up America and show that we are the better people.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
chckpope February 09 2014 at 1:44 PM

Pathetic display, the Olympics are about the athletes everything else should be curbed. This sort of disrespect hinders the protestors cause it doesn't promote it. And again it makes you ask yourself, if it were so darn normal, why would they have to FORCE it into acceptance?

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pm0501 February 09 2014 at 1:11 PM

Just a matter of minutes before AOL turns off comments to this story!

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bassidan February 09 2014 at 11:14 AM

At least, for once it wasn't people from the US antagonizing the host country. This is the Olympics. Athletes from all over the world trained all of their lives for this competition. Save your political agenda for an appropriate time. This is their time (athletes) not yours.

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1 reply
Steve bassidan February 09 2014 at 11:22 AM

Thanbk you for expressing what most of us feel. This is for the athletes, not for political debaters. Enough already!

Flag Reply +5 rate up
flaman8377 February 09 2014 at 11:23 AM

One thing we have learned while traveling around the world is that you must respect the rules and laws of the country you are in regardless of your personal biases. Otherwise get out of that country and do not try and impose your belief system on them. In many countries that will land you in a jail and being held for an indeterminate period of time and at the whim of the courts there. They don't give a hoot about your "causes".

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Sue February 09 2014 at 11:17 AM


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