Russell and Lauryn Mark are Olympic shooters from Australia. They are also married. As they head to London for the 2012 Summer Olympic games they have been told that they cannot room together in Olympic Village, while other homosexual couples are allowed to.
“The stupid part of this, which I have argued to them, is that there are tons of gay couples on the Olympic team who will be rooming together so we are being discriminated against because we are heterosexual.” Russel Mark said. “Every couple, whether they are married or de facto should have the AOC trying to bend over backwards to accommodate their needs.”
Mrs. Mark believes the cover shoot she did for Zoo magazine, in which she sported a green and yellow bikini and double barrel shotgun to promote the sport of shooting and have the proceeds of the shoot go to the Royal Children’s hospital, has something to do with the way the AOC (Australian Olympic Committee) is treating her and her husband.
“Basically they said if we want to room together we need to check out of the village and go into a hotel at our own expense. It’s not feasible,” she said. “I am very frustrated because in sport there are a lot of same sex couples and its OK to be partners with someone of the same sex but if you are heterosexual you are penalized.”
At every major event the Marks have attended they have been allowed to stay in the same room.
Though they are not pulling out of the Olympics, the Marks say they are disappointed that there is no way to appeal the decision and that they are frustrated that homosexual couples are given special treatment while heterosexual married couples are discriminated against. Russell Mark says that they will “figure out how to deal with it.”
“If anything this will motivate me to shoot better than I ever have,” he said.
Mark also said that unofficially he’ll be sneaking down the hallway to his wife’s room.