News

Billie Jean King unable to attend Sochi opening ceremonies

Billie Jean King unable to attend Sochi opening ceremonies

NOT GOING TO SOCHI: King was one of three openly gay American athletes named to the U.S. delegation, along with skating champion Brian Boitano and ice hockey medalist Caitlin Cahow. Photo: Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former American tennis star Billie Jean King will be unable to join the official U.S. delegation attending the Sochi Winter Olympics opening ceremonies due to a serious illness in her family, the White House said on Wednesday.

King was one of three openly gay American athletes named to the U.S. delegation, along with skating champion Brian Boitano and ice hockey medalist Caitlin Cahow. Their selection was intended to send a message against Russia’s anti-gay laws.

“The president extends his thoughts and prayers to Ms. King and her family in this difficult time,” the White House said.

SPECIAL SECTION: 2014 Winter Olympics

A statement from King said she is unable to attend because of her mother’s failing health.

“It is important for me to be with my mother and my brother at this difficult time. I want to thank President Obama for including me in this historic mission and I look forward to supporting our athletes as they compete in Sochi,” she said.

The White House said Cahow, originally named as a member of the delegation in the closing ceremonies, will instead serve in King’s place as a member of the delegation for the opening ceremonies.

(Reporting By Steve Holland; editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid)

Latest Stories

in Albemarle County, Charlottesville City, Local, Surrounding Counties

Hundreds Voice Opposition of Grade Separated Interchange at 29 North And Rio Road

Fresh
29 North Sign

Albemarle County Supervisor Ken Boyd will introduce a motion that VDOT conduct a small area study before putting the project in the fast lane.

in Albemarle County, Charlottesville City, Election, Local, Surrounding Counties, UVA, Virginia Assembly

Appropriations Chairman: State Workers Might Get More Pay

Updated
House of Delegates  052411 (RG)

The chairman of the House Appropriations Committee says public employees might get salary increases.

in Albemarle County, Charlottesville City, Local, Surrounding Counties, UVA

Illiness Prompts Hampden-Sydney To Call Off Classes

Updated
Hampden-Sydney College Logo

Hampden-Sydney College has called off classes until next week.

in Albemarle County, Local, Surrounding Counties

Afton Store Robbed

Updated
Nelson Sheriff's Badge  072308

There was an armed robbery Wednesday night at a Nelson County store.

in Albemarle County, Charlottesville City, Local, UVA

Huja Not Running Again

Updated
Huja Satyendra 931712

Mayor Satyendra Huja has announced that he will not seek re-election to City Council.