Olympics

Cher says she turned down Sochi

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Sam Gardner

Sam Gardner is a general assignment writer for FOXSports.com. Originally from Orlando, Fla., he previously covered the Orlando Magic for FOX Sports Florida and has also covered the NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Finals and MLB playoffs. Follow him on Twitter.

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You Better Sit Down Kids, because this piece of news is juicy.

An organizer at next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi reportedly had the nerve to Believe that they could get Cher to perform at February’s opening ceremonies. But the pop icon says that even though she was told, “All I Ever Need Is You,” she turned the opportunity to be their Dark Lady down, citing Russia’s controversial anti-gay laws.

"I can’t name names but my friend called who is a big oligarch over there, and asked me if I’d like to be an ambassador for the Olympics and open the show," Cher told Maclean's magazine in a recent Q&A.

"I immediately said no. I want to know why all of this gay hate just exploded over there. He said the Russian people don’t feel the way the government does."

Cher isn’t a stranger to singing at big-time sporting events, as she performed the national anthem at Super Bowl XXXIII in Miami. But the prospect of her saying I Got You Babe to Russia was probably never in the cards, given the country’s apparent lack of Love and Understanding for an issue that’s so dear to her.

In addition to having a large gay following, Cher also has a transgender son, Chaz Bono, who completed a female-to-male transition in 2010.

And though she has gone rogue, acted Just Like Jesse James and performed in Russia twice in the last year — at a private party last December and at the opening of a soccer stadium in July — it’s clear she won’t make an exception for the Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves at the Olympics After All.

Meanwhile, on the Sochi Winter Olympics committee, it seems that The Beat Goes On, with or without Cher. In fact, the organization denied ever even approaching the 67-year-old singer, telling the Wall Street Journal, "There have never been any negotiations with Cher about her possible participation in the ceremonies."

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So, maybe the Sochi Olympics did ask Cher to perform, maybe they didn’t. In any case, the Russian organizers haven’t yet been able to say “I Found Someone,” and I’d bet there’s at least one of them who has found himself wondering, “Would Cher have been a possibility If I Could Turn Back Time and rethink that anti-gay legislation?”

But, as they say, A Cowboy’s Work Is Never Done, and I’m sure the Olympic committee will keep at it until they find a suitable option to open the Games.

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