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

Today in entertainment history: March 27

Fresh
beatles

A look back on Hollywood headlines of years past.

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

City Drops Charge Against Matthew

Matthew Jesse mug shot 092614

Albemarle resident Jesse Matthew does not face an abduction charge in Charlottesville.

in Local, Surrounding Counties

Tragic Ending To Search For Young Boy

Updated
Thomas Noah (sent to us) 032615 CC

There was a tragic ending to the search for a Pulaski County boy.

in Local, Surrounding Counties

Brunswick Jury Convicts Woman Of Manslaughter

Updated
Brunswick County

A Brunswick County jury has convicted a woman of involuntary manslaughter.

in Albemarle County, Charlottesville City, Local, Surrounding Counties

Fire Destroys Albemarle Home

Albemarle Fire and Rescue 030408

Still no word on what caused the fire on Hildridge Drive.