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Brian Boitano Comes Out as Gay After Being Named to U.S. Delegation for Sochi Olympics

Awesome Olympians, Brian Boitano TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

Figure skater Brian Boitano, who took home the gold at the 1988 Olympics, has announced that he is gay.

The revelation comes just two days after Boitano was selected to be a part of the U.S. presidential delegation at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

"I am many things: a son, a brother, an uncle, a friend, an athlete, a cook, an author, and being gay is just one part of who I am," Boitano said in a statement.

"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."

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In addition to Boitano, two other openly gay athletes—tennis legend Billie Jean King and Olympic ice hockey player Caitlin Cahow—are also part of the delegation.

Both Boitano and King will attend the games' opening ceremonies on Feb. 7, while Cahow will attend the closing ceremonies.

The decision by President Barack Obama to have the delegation include openly gay athletes is widely viewed as a way of sending a message to Russia, which has come under fire for its anti-gay laws. Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will not attend the games.

On Thursday, Cahow appeared on Today to discuss being named to the delegation.

"The president has been very open about his feelings about Russian policies, and I think he's been very open about his feelings about LGBT policies here at home, too," Cahow said. "I'm going over to Sochi representing a country that has made the most dramatic shifts on some of these issues in the last few years, and I'm very proud to be representing that kind of diversity."

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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