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U.S. Olympic delegate Brian Boitano announces he is gay

December 19, 2013|By David Wharton
  • "I am many things: a son, a brother, and uncle, a friend, an athlete, a cook, an author, and being gay is just one part of who I am," Brian Boitano says.
"I am many things: a son, a brother, and uncle, a friend, an athlete,… (Rick Bowmer / Associated…)

Just two days ago, President Obama made news by placing two openly gay athletes on the delegation that will represent the U.S. at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Now it is known the delegation has three.

Brian Boitano, a figure skating gold medalist who was included on Obama's original list, has announced that he is gay.

"I am many things: a son, a brother, and uncle, a friend, an athlete, a cook, an author, and being gay is just one part of who I am," Boitano said in a statement. "First and foremost I am an American athlete and I am proud to live in a country that encourages diversity, openness and tolerance.

"As an athlete, I hope we can remain focused on the Olympic spirit, which celebrates achievement in sport by peoples of all nations," he said.

Sexual orientation has become a hot-button issue for the Sochi Games because of Russian legislation that threatens prosecution for anyone who promotes "nontraditional sexual relations" in the presence of
minors. Critics worldwide have spoken out against the law, saying it effectively bans events such as gay rights parades.

Tennis great Billie Jean King and two-time hockey medalist Caitlin Cahow are also on the U.S. delegation that will include several government officials.

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