The pressure continues to build. Another world leader is bowing out of attending the Sochi Olympics. With just 50 days and 22 hours left, President Obama has announced he will not be heading to the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, but is sending some openly gay athletes in what is being seen as a message to that nation about diversity and acceptance in the face of Russia's laws banning 'gay propaganda'.
Lesbian tennis legend Billie Jean King will attend the opening ceremonies in a delegation led by former Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano. Michael A. McFaul, United States Ambassador to the Russian Federation, Robert L. Nabors, Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy, and figure skater Brian Boitano will join them.
Out lesbian Caitlin Cahow, Olympic silver medalist and bronze medalist in women’s ice hockey will join the delegation for the closing ceremonies, led by William J. Burns, Deputy Secretary of State. Joining them are Michael A. McFaul, United States Ambassador to the Russian Federation, Bonnie Blair, five-time Olympic gold medalist and one-time bronze medalist in speed skating, and Eric Heiden, five-time Olympic gold medalist in speed skating.
Neither First Lady Michelle Obama nor VP Joe Biden will attend.