Wednesday, December 18, 2013

U.S. Olympic Delegation Includes Athletes Who Are Gay Argyll Free ...

The Winter Olympics in Solchi, Russia are less than two months away. The delegation from the U.S. will not include any members of President Obama’s family or a Cabinet member, but the group will have athletes that are openly gay – a clear jab at the recently approved anti-gay laws in the host country.

Billie Jean King, the tennis legend will join Janet Napolitano the former Secretary of Homeland Security and Brian Boitano the figure skater at the opening ceremonies February 7, said the White House.

Rob Nabors an aide at the White House and the ambassador to Russia from the U.S. will round out the Sochi delegation.

King was one of the first athletes at a professional level to come out in the 1980s as gay.

William Burns the Deputy Secretary of State will lead the U.S. delegation at the closing ceremony. Joining him will be speed skaters Eric Heiden and Bonnie Blair, along with Caitlin Cahow a hockey player who is also openly gay.

It is just the first time in over a decade that the President, First Lady, Vice President or a former president has not been in attendance for the opening or closing ceremonies for the Olympics.

For the Summer 2012 London Olympics, the U.S. delegation was led by Michelle Obama the First Lady, and then President George Bush went to China in 2008 for the games in Beijing.

Joe Biden the U.S. Vice President and his wife led a group from the U.S. to the most recent Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Not sending a high-ranking official from the U.S. amounts to nothing more than a snub at Russia, whose diplomatic relations with the U.S. have been fractured over the last 12 months.

Russia granted Edward Snowden the admitted leaker of NSA documents temporary asylum and Vladimir Putin the President has used the veto power of Russia in the U.N. Security Council to block U.S. action against Syria.

Obama also canceled a September meeting with the Russian President, though they both met in the Group of 20 meetings in St. Petersburg.

Fueling problems with Russia are new laws that ban gay propaganda in Russia that critics say are so vague anyone could be prosecuted for just wearing the rainbow T-shirt.


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