As we prepare for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia that will take place in February, a group of athletes have been announced as part of the White House delegation for the winter games. Among the athletes is former Olympic champion figure skater Brian Boitano, who came out as openly gay after being named to the committee.
Boitano is one of three openly gay athletes on the White House delegation joining Caitlin Cahow and Billie Jean King. Also on the committee are former champion speed skaters Bonnie Blair and Eric Heiden.
You can read the full statement from Boitano below:
I am currently skating in Europe but want to provide a statement regarding my appointment to the Olympic delegation. I have been fortunate to represent the United States of America in three different Olympics, and now I am honored to be part of the presidential delegation to the Olympics in Sochi. It has been my experience from competing around the world and in Russia that Olympic athletes can come together in friendship, peace and mutual respect regardless of their individual country’s practices.
It is my desire to be defined by my achievements and my contributions. 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. 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. 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.