WARSAW — Poland’s President Andrzej Duda is usually quick to congratulate any Polish athletic success, but he was uncharacteristically slow after women rowers won the country’s first medal of the Tokyo Olympic Games, a silver, on Wednesday.
It took a day of growing pressure from the Polish media and the political opposition before Duda congratulated the Polish team. There had been questions over whether his reticence was dictated by one of the four rowers, Katarzyna Zillmann, coming out as a lesbian. Duda unleashed a campaign against what he called “LGBT ideology” during last year’s election campaign in an effort to appeal to traditionalist voters.
During an emotional interview for state-controlled TVP television on Wednesday, Zillmann sent thanks to her girlfriend.