Russia Open Games blog February 28
Today, competitions were scheduled in volleyball, basketball, and swimming, as well as a session of the human rights conference concerning LGBT sport and the Olympic Games given by the LGBT human rights organization ‘vyhod’ (coming out). Medals were awarded during the evening medals ceremony by Dutch minister of health, welfare, and sport Edith Schipper, who was an invited guest of the Games from Netherlands.
I only personally attended the human rights conference as I didn’t compete in the above sports. It was not interrupted as in the previous day and held at the Andrei Sakharov Museum and Library, which has its own security staff.
The volleyball competition was completed without interruption. However, other athletes in my residence from Krasnodar region reported after they began playing their game at the basketball venue, one or several smoke bombs were thrown into the gymnasium, engulfing the court in smoke and irritating the eyes of some of the players. After most of the smoke had cleared, many police were present outside and inside the gym. It was unclear whether they were responding to the aggression or participating in it. Play was postponed and finished the next day with police still present.
The swimming event was never held, even in the days after today. Officials at the swimming pool claimed the athletes had not completed official health questionnaires signed by doctors attesting to the fact they had been tested for HIV and other blood-related diseases required by the minister of health. One Russia Open Games organizer, not the swimming organizer, stated this questionnaire is required at public swimming pools but many times not enforced. This documentation had not been brought to the attention of Russia Open Games organizers since agreement had been made before when individual athletes could have had time to secure them.