Australian Olympians to take part in Sydney's Gay Mardi Gras

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SYDNEY (AP) The Australian Olympic Committee says Saturday's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in Sydney will be the first time a float full of Olympians, Paralympians and their supporters has been entered in the annual event.

The float, organized by 2000 Sydney Olympic relay swimming gold medalist Daniel Kowalski, will be part of the parade route up Oxford Street to ''reinforce the message that Australia's athletes want a sporting community free of homophobia'' and to ''celebrate diversity and raise awareness of discrimination.''

The AOC said in a statement Friday that the float will feature more than 80 gay and straight athletes; plus their partners and friends. The float will be titled ''OneTeam'' and have theming and a soundtrack honoring the Rio Olympics in August.