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Sochi Olympics 2014: Obama Sending Two Gay Delegates

Historic and controversial? Possibly. Here’s why.

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In an unprecedented move, President Barack Obama announced he will be sending two openly gay athletes to the Sochi Winter Olympics as official delegates of the United States. The move is seen as a powerful symbol — one that is challenging the new anti-gay "propaganda" laws in Russia.

It will be the very first time The U.S. will not be sending a president, former president, first lady or vice president to the games. The two gay athletes who will be sent are former Olympic stars Billie Jean King (tennis) and Caitlin Cahow (hockey).

While the French and German presidents have declared their absence in light of the human rights concerns, President Obama's team said he will not attend due to his schedule. Russia President Vladimir Putin said that gay athletes will not be discriminated against. However, the Russian law bans the promotion of "non-traditional sexual relations."

According to the BBC, King said:

"I am equally proud to stand with the members of the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] community in support of all athletes who will be competing in Sochi and I hope these Olympic Games will indeed be a watershed moment for the universal acceptance of all people," she said.

The rest of the U.S. delegation includes former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, U.S. Russian ambassador Michael McFaul, figure skater Brian Boitano and presidential adviser Rob Nabors.

Josh Helmuth is the editor of CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him @JHelmuth or "like" CraveOnline Sports on Facebook.

Photo Credit: Getty

 

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