Figure skating champ comes out ahead of Sochi Olympics
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 11: Brian Boitano skates during the P&G & Wal-Mart "Tribute to American Legends of the Ice" at Izod Center on December 11, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 14: Olympic gold medalist Brian Boitano skates at The Rink at Rockefeller Center on December 14, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Brian Boitano appears on NBC News' 'Today' show (Photo by Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Brian Boitano performs in the Caesars Tribute: A Salute to the Golden Age of American Skating at the Boardwalk Hall Arena on December 11, 2010 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Tom Briglia/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK - DECEMBER 30: Figure Skater Brian Boitano skates at the Rink at Rockefeller Center on December 30, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Henry S. Dziekan III/Getty Images)
Undated: Brian Boitano performs during a skating event. (Photo by: Tony Duffy /Getty Images)
LILLEHAMMER - FEBRUARY 17: Brian Boitano of the USA performs in his figure skating routine in the 1994 Winter Olympic Games on February 17, 1994 in Lillehammer, Norway. (Photo by: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
CIRCA 1990's: Mens Figure Skater Brian Boitano competes circa early 1990's. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
U.S. figure skater Brian Boitano (C), Canadian Brian Orser (L) and Ukrainian Viktor Petrenko smile on the podium following the men's competition 20 February 1988 in Calgary at the Winter Olympic Games. Boitano won the gold medal in front of Orser (silver) and Petrenko (bronze). AFP PHOTO/DANIEL JANIN (Photo credit should read DANIEL JANIN/AFP/Getty Images)
Figure skater, Brian Boitano (c), signing autographs while training for World Figure Skating Championships, Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Chris Niedenthal//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)
DETROIT, UNITED STATES: Former Olympic gold medalist Brian Boitano executes a jump as he skates an original program 05 January 1994 at the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Detroit, MI. Boitano is attempting to qualify for the 1994 Winter Olympics following reinstatement after six years of skating professionally. (Photo credit should read CHRIS WILKINS/AFP/Getty Images)
DETROIT - JANUARY 6: Brian Boitano of the USA performs a spin during his long program at the 1994 U.S. National Figure Skating Championships on January 6, 1994 in Detroit, Michigan. Boitano skated to a second place finish and will represent the USA in the 1994 Winter Olympic Team (Photo by: Mike Powell/Getty Images)
CALGARY, CA - OCTOBER 1: Brian Boitano of the United States performs during Skate Canada on October 1, 1987 in Calgary, Canada. (Photo by: Mike Powell /Getty Images)
CALGARY, CANADA: U.S. figure skater Brian Boitano performs his free program during the men's competition 20 February 1988 in Calgary at the Winter Olympic Games. Boitano won the gold medal in front of Canadian Brian Orser (silver) and Ukrainian Viktor Petrenko (bronze). AFP PHOTO/JEROME DELAY (Photo credit should read JEROME DELAY/AFP/Getty Images)
Discover More Like This
BACK TO SLIDE
Two days after being named to the U.S. delegation for Sochi, Olympic figure skating champion Brian Boitano has announced he is gay.
But the 1988 gold medalist says Thursday in a statement that "being gay is just one part of who I am. ... I hope we can remain focused on the Olympic spirit which celebrates achievement in sport by peoples of all nations."
Boitano joins Billie Jean King and Caitlin Cahow as openly gay athletes in the U.S. delegation for the opening and closing ceremonies. Including them is widely seen as a message from the White House to Russia about its treatment of gays and lesbians.
President Barack Obama will not attend the Sochi Olympics, nor will First Lady Michelle Obama or Vice President Joe Biden.