Italian Olympic skier Sofia Goggia has apologised for her recent homophobic comments in a new statement.
On 16 April, the professional athlete came under fire for making anti-LGBTQ+ comments in an interview with the Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera.
During the sit-down, the 29-year-old was asked if there were LGBTQ+ athletes within the competitive sport of skiing, to which she responded “no”.
“Among women yes. Not for men, I would say. You have to throw yourself down the Streif in Kitzbuhel,” she told the publication.
For non-skiers, the Streif is one of the most challenging downhill slopes in the world, which according to Goggia, is too much for gay athletes to take on.
Alongside her homophobic response, she also made offensive comments regarding the inclusion of transgender athletes in sports.
“In terms of sport a man who turns into a woman has physical characteristics, even at the hormonal level, which allow him to push harder. I don’t think it’s right then,” she said.
Shortly after her interview went public, an array of LGBTQ+ activists and allies hit back at the athlete for her archaic and offensive comments.
Ivan Scalfarotto, Deputy Minister at the Italian Ministry of Interior, expressed his disappointment in Goggia in a statement via The Mirror.
Fa più rumore un albero che cade che una foresta che cresce.
Mi dispiace e mi scuso con tutte le persone che si sono sentite offese per la frase che è uscita nell’intervista del Corriere che, sicuramente, quando l’ho pronunciata, non voleva essere di natura discriminatoria. 🌈
— iamsofiagoggia (@goggiasofia) April 17, 2022
“I read with dismay that according to Sofia Goggia a gay athlete would not be able to do a downhill,” he wrote. “Before saying such things, kind Sofia, you should stop and think twice: speed is an advantage in the race, but with words, it can become a big problem.”
In response to the massive amount of pushback, Goggia issued an apology via Twitter on 17 April.
“A falling tree makes more noise than a growing forest. I’m sorry and I apologise to all the people who felt offended by the sentence that came out in the Corriere interview, which certainly, when I said it, did not want to be discriminatory in nature,” she tweeted.
However, shortly after uploading her apology, one Twitter user criticised Goggia’s tweet for its dismissive nature.
“Dear [Sofia Goggia] people “did not feel offended”, you offended them. It is not a question of our sensitivity,” they tweeted.
“It’s a question of what you said, which is discriminatory and conveys stereotypes and toxic machismo. You make the forest of prejudices frow too.”
Cara @goggiasofia le persone “non si sono sentite offese”, le hai offese.
Non è questione della nostra sensibilità.
È questione di quello che hai detto, che è discriminatorio e veicola stereotipi e machismo tossico.
La foresta dei pregiudizi la fai crescere anche tu. pic.twitter.com/8b35Ztr1YP
— Masha&Orsini 🏳️🌈🇪🇺 (@DarioBallini) April 18, 2022