Speed skater J.R. Celski talks about rapper pal Macklemore

Speed skater J.R. Celski has a second career as a film producer.
(George Frey / Getty Images)

Short-track speed skater J.R. Celski leads another life away from the rink, having co-produced a recent documentary about the Seattle hip-hop scene.

Two artists featured in his film -- Macklemore and Ryan Lewis -- have shot to fame on the strength of their hit, “Thrift Shop,” and a gay rights song called “Same Love.”

So, during a teleconference on Thursday, Celski was asked about his take on the Russian anti-gay legislation that has stirred so much controversy in advance of the upcoming 2014 Sochi Olympics. He steered clear of the issue.

“It’s kind of a personal thing,” he said. “At this point, I’m just focused on competing.”

The law threatens prosecution for anyone who promotes gay rights around minors or in public displays such as parades. Russian officials have said it will not be enforced on athletes at the Winter Games.


Politics aside, Celski was also asked whether Macklemore might watch him compete in Sochi.

“He’s a busy guy,” the skater said. “I’m not expecting him to be there.”


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