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Brian Boitano Explains His Decision on Coming Out

Brian Boitano Explains His Decision on Coming Out

When retired Olympic figure skater Brian Boitano, a 1988 Olympic gold medalist, publicly acknowledged being gay on December 19 after the announcement that he'd be part of the U.S. delegation to the Sochi Winter Olympics (along with tennis legend Billie Jean King and ice hockey player Caitlin Cahow), many readers seemed surprised that he wasn't already out. Now, Boitano gives his first interview since that announcement, speaking with Matt Lauer on the Today show. As he explains:

"When the president named the delegation, and I read in the news what his message was of tolerance and diversity, I thought, I have to take this opportunity. I think the message is so strong. I’ve always wanted to represent my country as best I could, and I knew that I had to go past my comfort zone and reveal a private side of my life that I’ve never done before because I felt that the message is so strong. … I think that we have to be careful once we go over there. I think the statement is already being made by us being on the delegation and Billie Jean and Caitlin, and us standing together united as gay people showing that there is freedom of speech, and we are successful human beings and athletes. I think that speaks measures.”

You can watch the full interview clip on

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