[caption id="attachment_76121" align="aligncenter" width="262"] Brian Boitano comes[/caption]Former Olympic Gold Medalist Brain Boitano Comes Out as Gay
Brian Boitano, former Olympic gold medalist skater, has come out as being homosexual. The 50-year-old athlete issued a public statement wherein he felt the need to highlight things that have defined him and the personal relationships he values. He stated that being gay is one such aspect that defines him.
"It is my desire to be defined by my achievements and my contributions," Boitano said in a statement sent to The Huffington Post. "While I am proud to play a public role in representing the American Olympic Delegation as a former Olympic athlete, I have always reserved my private life for my family and friends and will continue to do so."
"I am many things: a son, a brother, and uncle, a friend, an athlete, a cook, an author, and being gay is just one part of who I am," he continued. "First and foremost I am an American athlete and I am proud to live in a country that encourages diversity, openness and tolerance. As an athlete, I hope we can remain focused on the Olympic spirit which celebrates achievement in sport by peoples of all nations."
President Obama had recently named Boitano as part of the official US Olympic delegation heading to Sochi, Russia next year. Russia has taken a very strong stand against homosexuals in recent years as the former Soviet Republic struggles with a population in rapid decline. The Russian government blames homosexuality for the drop in child births.
Two other members of the US delegation are also homosexual. They are former tennis legend Billie Jean King who is lesbian and Olympic Hockey player Caitlin Cahow. The latter was always open about her sexuality.
Boitano is yet another prominent athlete or celebrity to come out of the closet. Bob Harper of Biggest Loser fame also recently came out as being gay in an episode where he was helping a gay contestant come to terms with his sexual orientation.
Boitano, who represented the United States at three Olympics, will attend the opening ceremonies along with King.
"It has been my experience from competing around the world and in Russia that Olympic athletes can come together in friendship, peace and mutual respect regardless of their individual country's practices," added Boitano. "It is my desire to be defined by my achievements and my contributions.
"While I am proud to play a public role in representing the American Olympic delegation as a former Olympic athlete, I have always reserved my private life for my family and friends and will continue to do so."
The 2014 Winter Olympic Games are set to begin on Friday, February 7.
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