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 Entertainment

This weekend in entertainment history

seinfeld

A look back on some of Hollywood's most memorable headlines.

in Charlottesville City, Local, UVA

Jury Finds Simpson Not Guilty Of 2013 Murder

Charlottesville Circuit Courthouse

A Charlottesville jury found Tsaye Simpson is not guilty of a 2013 murder.

in Local, Surrounding Counties

Woman Gets Prison Time For 1998 Crimes

Brunswick County marker 52901 JT

Richmond area woman gets eight years in prison for 1998 crimes.

in Election, Local, UVA

UVA Center For Politics Gets Emmy Nominations

SabatoCarlsonUVAKids

UVA's Center For Politics has two more Emmy nominations.

in Election, Local, Surrounding Counties, Virginia Assembly

Virginia Congressman Wants Balanced Budget

Brat Dave 010914

Congressman Dave Brat (R- Glen Allen) is proposing a balanced budget amendment.