Gay athletes named to US delegation to Sochi Olympics
Wed, 18 Dec 2013 21:10:21 GMT —
The United States has named two gay athletes to the US delegation to the Winter Olympics in Sochi in a response to host country Russia's anti-homosexual policies.
Former tennis start Billie Jean King, one of the first prominent athletes to ever acknowledge being gay, and openly gay Caitlin Cahow, a medaled US hockey player, will represent the US at closing ceremonies, according to the White House.
Russia's Olympic Games have been overshadowed by international criticism of its human rights record, and a recent anti-gay law that critics say discriminates against homosexuals.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said many times that gay athletes are welcome in Russia and no discrimination wil be tolerated, while at the same time saying the anti-gay law is needed to protect young people.
SLIDESHOW: Getting to know Sochi
Germany's President Joachim Gauck announced he will not attend the Olympics Games in Sochi, and neither will French President Francois Hollande. Both countries send a large number of athletes to winter Games.
President Barack Obama will not attend the Games, and the US delegation will be led by former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
First Lady Michelle Obama headed the US delegation to the 2012 Summer Games in London.
The United States is also unhappy with Russia over its decision to grant temporary asylum to Edward Snowden.
WATCH the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi on WNWO and the NBC family of networks.