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2010 Olympic snowboarder comes out

Former U.S. Olympian Callan Chythlook-Sifsof, an Alaskan snowboarder who missed the cut for Team USA in Sochi, followed through on one of her Olympic plans anyway.

The 24-year-old from Girdwood, Alaska, told the ESPN news program "Outside the Lines" that she is gay, a revelation she said she wanted to make during the Sochi Olympics, where gay rights have become an issue because of Russia's anti-gay laws.

"I realized coming out publicly isn't just about yourself but it's also about realizing the greater scope of what's going on and becoming a voice against something," Chythlook-Sifsof said. "It's important to come out and take a stand and show the world that it's not OK to be a bigot."

Chythlook-Sifsof, who at the 2010 Vancouver Games became the first Alaska Native to compete at the Olympics, is no stranger to speaking her mind. Last year, she wrote an anti-Pebble Mine op-ed piece for The New York Times.

In her interview with "Outside the Lines," which aired Friday, Chythlook-Sifsof said she won't be surprised if one or more athletes in Sochi defy Olympic rules that prohibit athletes from making political statements at the Games.

(c)2014 Anchorage Daily News (Anchorage, Alaska)

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