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U.S. delegation to Russian Olympics includes gay athletes

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Washington (CNN) -- The United States' delegation to the upcoming Winter Olympics in Russia won't include a member of President Barack Obama's family or an active cabinet secretary, but it will include openly gay athletes - a clear jab at Russia's recent anti-gay laws.

Billie Jean King, the tennis legend, will join figure skater Brian Boitano at the games' opening ceremonies on February 7, the White House said Tuesday.

Former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, White House aide Rob Nabors and the U.S. ambassador to Russia will round out the delegation to the Sochi games.

King was one of the first professional athletes to come out as gay in the 1980s.

Two weeks later, a group led by Deputy Secretary of State William Burns will attend the closing ceremony. Speed skaters Bonnie Blair and Eric Heiden, as well as openly gay hockey player Caitlin Cahow, will also attend.

Cahow, 28, is a two-time Olympian.

"In the selection of this delegation, we are sending the message that the United States is a diverse place," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday, pointing to Napolitano, a former cabinet secretary, as evidence of the delegation's distinction.

It's the first time in more than a decade the President, Vice President, First Lady or former president hasn't attended an Olympic opening or closing ceremony. First Lady Michelle Obama led the delegation to 2012's Summer Olympics in London, and President George W. Bush made the trek to China for Beijing's games in 2008.

Vice President Joe Biden and his wife led a U.S. group to the last Winter Games, held in Vancouver.

The absence of high-ranking U.S. officials amounts to a snub to Russia, whose relationship with the United States has fractured over the past year. Admitted NSA leaker Edward Snowden, wanted on espionage charges in the U.S., was granted temporary asylum in Moscow, and Russian President Vladimir Putin has used Russia's veto on the United Nations Security Council to block action in Syria.

Obama canceled a meeting with Putin that was scheduled for September, though the two met as part of a larger group of world leaders at the Group of 20 conference in St. Petersburg.

Fueling the rift between the nations are new laws in Russia banning gay "propaganda" -- a law critics say is so vague that anyone can be prosecuted for wearing a rainbow T-shirt or holding hands in public with someone of the same sex.

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/12/17/sport/us-delegation-russia-olympics/index.html?sr=fb121813russiaolympics4p

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People on CNN's Facebook page are saying gay athletes are going to be killed and it will all be Obama's fault.

ahahahahahaha


I love a guy who looks like he could be on Criminal Minds as either an agent or a killer.

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People on CNN's Facebook page are saying gay athletes are going to be killed and it will all be Obama's fault.

Duh! It all has always been Obama's fault since 1961, when he was born; and the big, huge, incommensurable conspiracy began! Resistence is futile!


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Gays want everyone else to boycott for them ... They need to step up to the plate and refuse to go. Who knows they might be missed.


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Gays want everyone else to boycott for them ... They need to step up to the plate and refuse to go. Who knows they might be missed.

Consider reading the copy shown in the initial post. It might help you understand what the subject of the thread is about. Gay athletes participating in the Olympic Games in Sochi is the opposite of boycotting.

Edited by Gegel

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Oh and German's really like David Hasselhoff........... Go Norm!

The Germans are on to something, The Hoff is the man!

Nobody does cheezey like the Hoff.

Edited by Teddy B

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Gays want everyone else to boycott for them ... They need to step up to the plate and refuse to go. Who knows they might be missed.

They do?

There is no need for the athletes to refuse to go. Johnny Weir, a gay American figure skater, summed it up pretty well:

To have a boycott would not only negate the career of some athletes who have only one chance at competing at the Games, but also the over-time shifts an exhausted father takes to make ends meet, or the social acclimatization of a brother who can’t go on spring break because his brother needed another costume, or the mother who works part-time at a job far beneath her, just so she can afford to watch her first born perform for the world. The Olympics are not a political statement, they are a place to let the world shine in peace and let them marvel at their youthful talents.

There isn’t a police officer or a government that, should I qualify, could keep me from competing at the Olympics. I respect the LGBT community full heartedly, but I implore the world not to boycott the Olympic Games because of Russia’s stance on LGBT rights or lack thereof. I beg the gay athletes not to forget their missions and fight for a chance to dazzle the world.

Edited by Penny Lane

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They do?

There is no need for the athletes to refuse to go. Johnny Weir, a gay American figure skater, summed it up pretty well:

To have a boycott would not only negate the career of some athletes who have only one chance at competing at the Games, but also the over-time shifts an exhausted father takes to make ends meet, or the social acclimatization of a brother who can’t go on spring break because his brother needed another costume, or the mother who works part-time at a job far beneath her, just so she can afford to watch her first born perform for the world. The Olympics are not a political statement, they are a place to let the world shine in peace and let them marvel at their youthful talents.

There isn’t a police officer or a government that, should I qualify, could keep me from competing at the Olympics. I respect the LGBT community full heartedly, but I implore the world not to boycott the Olympic Games because of Russia’s stance on LGBT rights or lack thereof. I beg the gay athletes not to forget their missions and fight for a chance to dazzle the world.

Once upon a time [only a couple years ago] I was a fairly active member of the amateur figure skating scene. I met Johnny Weir and his hubby through similar social circles. I was kind of struck by how bright and insightful he is. I'm all for making a stand against government oppression and inequality in any of it's forms, but it's hypocritical to single out Russia on this issue. We have close relations with plenty of countries who boast even more oppressive laws against homosexuality. It's just become convenient because we're all pissy that Russia and China appear to have tipped the balance of global power and hegemony in recent years. Such a notion is silly.


"If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello."

- Paulo Coelho

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