US figure skating champ Boitano comes out as gay ahead of Sochi Olympics

Washington, Dec 20: Olympic figure skating champion Brian Boitano came out on Thursday, two days after he was named to the US delegation for Sochi along with openly gay athletes Billie Jean King and Caitlin Cahow, according to reports.

According to CBS News, the 1988 gold medalist had always kept his personal life private, saying in a statement that being gay is just one part of who he is.

However, President Barack Obama’s decision to include openly gay athletes in the delegation for the opening and closing ceremonies and not send high-ranking officials was widely seen as a message to Russia about its treatment of gays and lesbians, the report said.

Boitano said that first and foremost, he was an American athlete and proud to live in a country that encourages diversity, openness and tolerance.

Russia has come under fierce criticism for passing national laws banning ‘gay propaganda,’ and some suggested the United States should boycott the Sochi Olympics in protest, the report added. (ANI)