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Dutch brass band may play 'YMCA' at Sochi oval

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 21, 2014 at 11:24 am •  Published: January 21, 2014
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THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Dutch brass band that always performs at Olympic speed skating ovals is considering playing a popular gay song — "Y.M.C.A." — at the Sochi Winter Olympics to show its support for gay rights.

It remains to be seen how Russian and Olympic authorities would react should the Kleintje Pils band play a song widely considered to be a gay anthem. A ban on information about "nontraditional sexual relations" signed into law by Russian President Vladimir Putin has provoked widespread international outrage from critics who believe it discriminates against gays.

Band leader Ruud Bakker told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Kleintje Pils could mix the Village People's "Y.M.C.A." in its sing-along repertoire as "a signal." But he added that the band didn't want to antagonize organizers or turn its performances into a "political game."

"We will see if we can get one or two songs into the selection, knowing that in the Netherlands it will be seen as a signal we are thinking of them (gays)," Bakker said.

The band, which keeps speed skating crowds rocking during ice resurfacing breaks at Olympic competitions, is best known for its stirring rendition of Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" and Queen's "We are the Champions." Usually they get the thousands of fans of all nationalities to dance along as they walk around the big oval with the permission of organizers. Mixing in a political message would be a new move.

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