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Transgender activist escorted from Sochi Olympic Park

6:41 AM, Feb 18, 2014   |    comments
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SOCHI (USATODAY.com) - A well-known Italian activist for transgender rights was escorted out of Olympic Park on Monday after attempting to enter one of the hockey venues.

Vladimir Luxuria, a former member of the Italian parliament, was in the park for more than an hour Monday wearing a rainbow-colored outfit and yelling "It's OK to be gay," according to the Associated Press.

Luxuria told AP she was not detained, but her Olympic spectator pass was taken away and she was released after being driven away from the park.

International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams said the organization does not tolerate demonstrations within the venues "whether we are sympathetic or not." The Sochi organizing committee set up a protest zone in Khosta, roughly a 25-minute train ride from the Olympic park, though it has only hosted a handful of minor protests since the games began.

"I understand she was in the park for a good hour, maybe two hours walking around talking to spectators and people," Adams said. "Some people were pro, some people were against, some people were very against, but I know her stated aim was to demonstrate in the venue. I believe after a couple hours when she finally got to the venue she was escorted from there peacefully, not detained and even herself tweeted that it had all been very polite."

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