Olympic figure skating gold medalist Brian Boitano came out as gay on Thursday, December 19, making him the third openly gay athlete named by President Obama in the American Olympic Delegation.
Botiano, tennis legend Billie Jean King, and women’s ice hockey player Caitlin Cahow will be part of the 10-person team that will represent the LGBT community in America during the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
“It is my desire to be defined by my achievements and my contributions,” said Boitano, who has competed in three different Olympics (1984, 1988, and 1994). “While I am proud to play a public role in representing the American Olympic Delegation as a former Olympic athlete, I have always reserved my private life for my family and friends and will continue to do so.”
Though the Olympics have been very controversial this year already, Botiano wants to focus on the games.
“First and foremost I am an American athlete and I am proud to live in a country that encourages diversity, openness and tolerance,” he expressed. “As an athlete, I hope we can remain focused on the Olympic spirit which celebrates achievement in sport by peoples of all nations.”
King, who came out in 1981, was the first professional athlete to announce she was gay. Other delegates include Janet Napolitano, former Homeland Security chief and former speed skater Bonnie Blair.
Like many other world leaders, President Obama, Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will not attend the Olympics.