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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?

Flag Reply +6 rate up
1 reply
redwingirish Dan February 09 2014 at 8:43 AM

You would enjoy that!

Flag Reply +5 rate up
Sue February 09 2014 at 11:17 AM


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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!

Flag Reply +4 rate up
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

Flag Reply +7 rate up
suncruzma February 09 2014 at 8:38 PM

awesome that is all I can say regardless of straight or gay great song

Flag Reply +8 rate up
gserlin February 09 2014 at 3:54 PM

I never thought of the YMCA as a gay place; never thought of YMCA as a gay song. As for politics entering the discussion, the Olympics have always been a political thing. The first Olympics were started as a way to avoid wars by engaging the best fit people, the athletes, in other activities than war. If that is not "playing" politics, nothing is.

Flag Reply +4 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?

Flag Reply +9 rate up
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
discos72 February 09 2014 at 2:08 PM

news flash,everyone doesnt want the gay in your face attitude all the time, enough already!

Flag Reply +14 rate up
1 reply
jrb359 discos72 February 09 2014 at 2:10 PM

I think Putin feels the same way. Not a guy you want to embarrass in front of the hometown crowd!

Flag Reply +3 rate up
jrb359 February 09 2014 at 2:04 PM

Another day, another gay story. The Olympics should NOT be used for politics.

Flag Reply +12 rate up
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