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White House opts not to send delegation to Russia for Paralympics

March 03, 2014|By Chuck Schilken
  • Logo of the Paralympics in Sochi, Russia
Logo of the Paralympics in Sochi, Russia

The U.S. won't send a presidential delegation to the Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia, the White House announced Monday in response to Russia's military advances in Ukraine.

President Obama is still in full support of the U.S. athletes and wishes them success, White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said.

The British government made a similar announcement Sunday, with British officials boycotting the Paralympics and Prince William canceling his trip to the Games β€œon the advice of government.”

British athletes are still permitted to participate in the Games, which begin Friday.

The U.S. and its allies are weighing options on how to react to Russia sending additional military forces last week to Crimea, where Russia has long leased naval facilities from Ukraine.

For last month's Sochi Olympics, the U.S. named a delegation that did not include the president, first lady or vice president for the first time since 2000 Sydney Games and included two openly gay former Olympic athletes.

That move was largely thought to be in response to Russia's anti-gay laws.

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