On Thursday, Olympic ice skater Brian Boitano announced that he is a gay man in response to being appointed to the U.S. Olympic delegation for the Sochi Winter Games.
"Being gay is just one part of who I am," Boitano said in a statement. The ice skater, who has represented the United States in three Olympic Games, taking the gold medal in 1988, says that he's more than just a gay man. He's "a son, a brother, and uncle, a friend, an athelete, a cook, an author."
The announcement comes just days after he and two other openly gay athletes, Billie Jean King and Caitlin Cahow, were named to the U.S. delegation by President Barack Obama.
Read Boitano's full statement below:
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.