Norway is currently ahead of Russia on the Olympic medal tally in Sochi, and back in Olso, a luxury hotel is trying to give Vladimir Putin an insight into what it believes is the true Olympic spirit.
When guests arrive at upmarket hotel, The Thief, they will be greeted by multiple couples - heterosexual, same-sex, interracial - kissing in enthusiastic support of the global Principle 6 campaign. Behind the initiative are the hosts of Europride 2014 and the Norwegian hotel tycoon Petter Stordalen.
Norwegian singer Annie and Norwegian visual artist Bjarne Melgaard made "Russian Kiss", a beat-filled Putin protest song accompanied by a video of couples of all sexual orientations kissing in succession. Inspired by the song, the Norwegian Forbes-billionaire Petter Stordalen and the Norwegian Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Organisation made the decision to use the video in a two-week long protest against Putin.
"While Norwegian athletes are entering the podiums in Sochi, we are putting human rights on the agenda at The Thief," says Petter Stordalen.
Stordalen has made his flagship hotel available for a different kind of Olympic celebration. From room #410 and towards the streets outside, on all hotel TVs and on the hotel website, the protest music video is being screened during the Olympics. Additionally, employees will don Principle 6 clothing uniquely customized by well-known designer Jenny Skavlan.
Commenting on Russia's recent anti-gay legislation, Stordalen explains, "As a businessman, I find it hard to believe that someone would invest 50 billion USD in gaining the world's attention just to showcase that you don't even respect the most basic human rights. What makes the world such a wonderful place is the diversity. I have always strived to fill my home, my office and my hotels with the most diverse crowds possible."
Bård Nylund, president of the Norwegian Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Organisation, agrees: "The overwhelming response to the Principle 6 campaign is so important because the human rights violations in Russia are extensive and serious. A lot of people want to send a clear message to the Olympic movement that they must adhere to its own charter."