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Media focus on gay rowers in Croatia and GLRF

15 December 2005 | glrfcentral
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Gay rowers were the hot topic of discussion in the Croatia media this week. Over the course of seven days, three different media articles and a TV segment appeared on the subject of gay rowers and their membership in European and international organizations, with specific mention and display of the GLRF website. In a single day, hits on the GLRF website skyrocketed to record levels. New membership registrations from Croatia more than doubled, although that number can be misleading since the number of registered rowers the day before the media frenzy was only 6.


The tone of the articles was matter of fact, neither positive nor negative, simply stating that rowers from various Croatian cities had registered with GLRF. There was some odd mention of some of the rowers having wives and families, which seemed to come out of nowhere. The articles inferred that some of the Croatian National Team had registered and that overall, approximately 20 rowers had registered with GLRF. Croatian Olympic rowing medalist Siniša Skelin was quoted as saying he was unaware of the organization, that he did not know any gay rowers on the team or that had registered with GLRF. The Secretary of the Croatian Rowing Federation, Zdravko Gajšek, commented that it was inevitable that there could be gay rowers but he felt the number suggested in the press, of 20 gay rowers, was probably more hype than fact, and that a number like 2 might be more realistic.


The first article appeared in the online media website Index.hr - Croatia_Index_GLRF.pdf.


The second article appeared in the major national Croatian newspapers, Slobodona Dalmacija - pictured in print: SlobodnaGLRF_image.jpg and online: slobodnaGLRF.pdf.


The third article appeared in the national morning newspaper, Jutarnji List - JutarnjiCombo_copy2.jpg. The TV segment was part of a political quiz show that is a regular feature on Croatian nighttime television.


The impetus behind the sudden interest in gay rowers remains a mystery. GLRF remains the only international sports organization that has created separate, identifiable pages within its website for each country (GLRF Countries).


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