Billie Jean King Drops Out of Sochi Delegation

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com February 05 2014 1:12 PM ET

Tennis icon Billie Jean King announced Wednesday that she would not be attending the opening ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games, as part of the official U.S. delegation.

"With my mother in failing health, I will not be able to join the U.S. Presidential Delegation at this week’s opening ceremonies of the Sochi Olympics," King said in a statement through her representative. "It is important for me to be with my mother and my brother at this difficult time. I want to thank President Obama for including me in this historic mission and I look forward to supporting our athletes as they compete in Sochi."

The White House updated the list of delegates Wednesday morning, and it will still include openly gay former Olympians, Brian Boitano and Caitlin Cahow, along with former Secretary Janet Napolitano, Ambassador Michael McFaul, and Robert Nabors, the assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff for policy. In a statement from the White House, the President "extended his thoughts and prayers to Ms. King and her family in this difficult time."

Cahow, who was originally slated to represent the United States during the closing ceremonies, will now take King's place during the opening ceremonies.