The number of gay athletes in the official delegation representing the United States at the opening and closing ceremonies of February's Winter Olympics in Russia grew to three Thursday after figure skater Brian Boitano 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, a 1988 Olympic Gold medalist, said in a statement Thursday. "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."
Boitano, who rarely discusses his personal life, issued the statement two days after President Barack Obama named him to the U.S. delegation going to the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
Obama included tennis legend Billie Jean King and U.S. women's hockey player Caitlin Cahow to the delegation amid calls from human rights and gay rights groups to include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the delegation to voice displeasure with Russia's recently-passed anti-gay law.
Neither Obama nor First Lady Michelle Obama will travel to Russia for the games. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Wednesday that he's also skipping the Winter Games.