Blake Skjellerup, an Olympian who competed on behalf of his native New Zealand in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, has recorded a video open letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Skjellerup, a gay speed skater, is taking a firm stand against Putin and his anti-gay policies. Skjellerup will not be competing in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, but he says he hopes that the games teach Putin about tolerance and acceptance.

“The Olympic games belongs to the world. It doesn’t belong to you. And it will be a celebration of that…a celebration of those differences. And I hope that you learn from it,” Skjellerup says in this exclusive Urant editorial video.

Skjellerup also reveals what he’d do if he ever met Vladimir Putin in person: he’d give him a hug! Watch the video to find out why.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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