Figure skater Brian Boitano ended years of speculation today as he announced that he is, in fact, gay. He said in a statement sent to Outsports:
77 LGBT sports people who came out in 2013
From high school coaches to professional athletes to sportswriters, 2013 saw the most-ever stories on publicly out people in sports.
I am currently skating in Europe but want to provide a statement regarding my appointment to the Olympic delegation. I have been fortunate to represent the United States of America in three different Olympics, and now I am honored to be part of the presidential delegation to the Olympics in Sochi. 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.
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. 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. 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.
I particularly like the focus on the Olympic spirit and the athletes. That will be the focus of the two weeks in Sochi, and an athlete like Boitano understands that.
Boitano has flirted with his sexual orientation publicly for years; It was hard to watch his Food Network show, What Would Brian Boitano Make?, and not wonder. He has a great sense of humor and isn't afraid to poke fun at himself, which has made him endearing for years. His sexual orientation has been an open secret in San Francisco for years.
We now know that 30% of the president's delegation to the Sochi Olympics -- including Billie Jean King and Caitlin Cahow -- are publicly out. Take that, Putin!
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