Olympic figure skating gold medalist, South Park muse, noted cook, and cherished San Francisco resident Brian Boitano officially came out of the closet today. In part of a press release, the American hero said, "Being gay is just one part of who I am."
Appointed by President Obama, Boitano is part of the U.S. delegation heading to the Sochi Winter Olympics, along with openly queer American athletes Olympic hockey medalist Caitlin Cahow and tennis icon Billie Jean King.
His full statement follows:
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.
While he never hid his sexuality, Boitano's coming out is particularly noteworthy due a growing Russian boycott. See, Russian President Vladimir Putin's enacted a strict "gay propaganda" law earlier this year, one that imposes fines and deportation on those who LGBT culture. It also prohibits gay parents from adopting Russian children. Obama's appointees is directly in response to Putin's dated and deadly law.