King is part of President Barack Obama’s official U.S. delegation and called her invitation a “privilege.”
“I will use this trip to honor the memory of my mother and to further my mission of equality,” she said. “I am thankful to President Obama for including me and I look forward to supporting the men and women of Team USA in Sochi.”
Obama chose King and two openly gay athletes, Brian Boitano and Caitlin Cahow, for the delegation at the opening ceremony because it showed that “the U.S. doesn’t make distinctions based on sexual orientation.”
King offered her support to LGBT Russians on Saturday before closing night.
“Having the Winter Olympics here, the situation here in Russia, has opened up dialogue,” King said Saturday. “I’m always big on love over hate, and I think it’s important that everyone’s treated equally and good to each other. Hopefully, the LGBT community here in Russia knows that they’re not alone and we’ll learn from them.”
As for politics involved in the Olympics, King was very clear: “Politics are in everything. To try to act as if there’s not is really keeping our heads in the sand. Of course there’s politics,” she said.
Cahow, part of the women’s hockey team, said that “she’s experienced no backlash in Russia” and that everyone has been “unbelievably welcoming.”
The closing delegation will include King, the U.S. ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul and the Deputy Secretary of State, William Burns.
The closing ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics will be held on February 23, 2014, beginning at 8:00pm MSK, in the Fisht Olympic Stadium, Russia. It will feature the parade of athletes as well as the extinguishing of the Olympic flame.