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US sending Billie Jean King to Sochi

Wed 18 Dec 2013 In: International News View at Wayback

Lesbian tennis legend Billie Jean King has been selected as part of the US delegation to the Winter Olympics in increasingly anti-gay Russia. A statement from the White House says the delegation "represents the diversity that is the United States”. King is a former world number one who amassed 29 grand slam titles during her career. She has also been a stalwart glbti rights advocate since she was pushed out of the closet in 1981. Gay rights group All Out says it’s hard to look at the delegation without seeing it as a criticism of Putin's anti-gay laws. “What it's doing is showing the true power of the Olympics, the ability to move people, to change people's minds and open them up to new ways of thinking. The delegation is shining a light on the values of the Olympics." The delegation will be without President Barack Obama, with the White House saying his schedule won’t allow him to travel to Sochi. "President Obama is extremely proud of our US athletes and looks forward to cheering them on from Washington," the statement says. "He knows they will showcase to the world the best of America -- diversity, determination and teamwork." French President Francois Hollande and German President Joachim Gauck have also announced that they will not attend the Sochi Games.    

Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff

First published: Wednesday, 18th December 2013 - 2:48pm

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