Olympic figure skating gold medalist who was named to the official U.S. delegation to the 2014 Sochi Olympics, announced today that he is gay. Boitano’s announcement comes two days after he was named by President Obama to the opening ceremony delegation that also includes tennis player Billie Jean King and women’s ice hockey silver medalist Caitlin Cahow.
Boitano’s full statement:
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.
Brian Boitano’s list of accomplishments includes winning the U.S. Figure Skating Championships four times, the World Championships twice and a gold medal at the 1988 Winter Olympics. In 1996, he was inducted to both the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame and the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame.