Olympian posing nude for animal rights generates controversy in China


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U.S. swimmer Amanda Beard wasn’t going to let anything -- Chinese authorities, the Pacific Ocean or clothes -- get in the way of her making a statement against wearing fur.

On Wednesday, Beard, who will try to repeat her gold-medal 200-meter breaststroke feat of four years ago, unveiled a nude photograph of herself in a PETA campaign urging that women ‘Don’t wear fur.’ She was just outside the athletes’ village in China at the Olympic Games.


She had to move the conference from a nearby Beijing hotel after plainclothes police banned her scheduled news conference there ‘for our safety,’ authorities said, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

While holding a poster of a PETA ad that showed her slyly covering the issues in question, Beard denied trying to provoke the Chinese. ‘You have concerns,’ she said. ‘I’m not out here taking my clothes off. We’re doing it in a very positive way. ‘I’m not trying to be in everybody’s face and be harsh or negative. I want to be calm and yet get my voice out there. I’m doing it for all those animals who don’t have a voice.’

It isn’t Beard’s first controversial rendezvous with the naked camera -- she posed for Playboy last year.

-- Francisco Vara-Orta