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Olympic Skater Brian Boitano Opens Up About Coming Out

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Tuesday Jan 7, 2014
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Brian Boitano
Brian Boitano  (Source:AP Photo/Rick Bowmer )

Olympic figure skater Brian Boitano made headlines last month when he confirmed to the public that he is gay - after years of speculation. The athlete opened up about his decision to come out in an interview with "Today" host Matt Lauer.

Boitano said he felt the need to come out after President Barack Obama chose him as an official U.S. delegate for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, along with two other out athletes, tennis star Billie Jean King and hockey player Caitlin Cahow.

"When the president named the delegation, and I read in the news what his message was of tolerance and diversity, I thought, I have to take this opportunity,’’ Boitano, 50, told Lauer. "I’ve always wanted to represent my country as best I could, and I knew that I had to go past my comfort zone and reveal a private side of my life that I’ve never done before because I felt that the message is so strong."

He added that the fact three openly gay athletes are going to the Olympics in February "speaks measures" when it comes to Russia’s highly controversial "homosexual propaganda" law.

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