Olympic Speed Skater Blake Skjerllerup to help launch PrideHouse Toronto Winter Games Lounge

6 February 2014

PrideHouseTO LogoTORONTO, ON - Olympic short-track speed skater Blake Skjellerup will help launch PrideHouse Toronto’s Winter Games Lounge this Friday, February 7th in a special event featuring outdoor viewing of the Opening Ceremonies of the Winter Olympic Games.

Blake SkjellerupSkjellerup will join PrideHouse Toronto officials and community leaders to launch the Winter Games Lounge, which will be open every evening for the duration of the Olympic Games.

An initiative of PrideHouseTO, the Winter Games Lounge is a safe, welcoming place for lesbians, gays, bi, trans and queer (LGBTQ) people and allies to watch the 2014 Winter Olympics and cheer on our athletes, and to learn about the challenges of LGBTQ people in Russia and in sport.  This event, as well as a Games Lounge planned for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, is meant to build momentum for PrideHouseTO’s activities during the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Para Pan Am Games.

Skjellerup, who competed for New Zealand in the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, has been a vocal opponent to the Russian government’s anti-gay laws, and a prominent advocate for LGBTQ youth since he came out in 2010.  PrideHouseTO’s Lounge is one of more than 30 Pride House events taking place around the world during the Olympics.

The Winter Games Lounge will be held in a fabulous outdoor winter venue at Ryerson University featuring a massive TV screen and nightly open skate on Lake Devo, the skating rink located at Victoria and Gould streets.  Friday’s launch will start at 6:30 pm just prior to the re-broadcast of the Opening Ceremonies in Sochi.

“Our Winter Games Lounge is part of our efforts to build momentum leading into TORONTO 2015,” said PrideHouseTO Co-Chair Darlene Homonko.  “We are pleased to be working with TO2015 to ensure Ontario’s Games are the most LGBTQ-inclusive multi-sport games in history.”


Committed to ensuring there is a place for all in sport, PrideHouseTO is a coalition of organizations working to ensure the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games are the most LGBTQ-inclusive multi-sport games in history.  PrideHouseTO is generously supported by the City of Toronto and the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

For more information, contact: Valerie Dugale, Media Lead, PrideHouse Toronto
416-648-0195, Communications@PrideHouseTO.ca