News

Billie Jean King unable to attend Sochi opening ceremonies

Billie Jean King unable to attend Sochi opening ceremonies

NOT GOING TO SOCHI: King was one of three openly gay American athletes named to the U.S. delegation, along with skating champion Brian Boitano and ice hockey medalist Caitlin Cahow. Photo: Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former American tennis star Billie Jean King will be unable to join the official U.S. delegation attending the Sochi Winter Olympics opening ceremonies due to a serious illness in her family, the White House said on Wednesday.

King was one of three openly gay American athletes named to the U.S. delegation, along with skating champion Brian Boitano and ice hockey medalist Caitlin Cahow. Their selection was intended to send a message against Russia’s anti-gay laws.

“The president extends his thoughts and prayers to Ms. King and her family in this difficult time,” the White House said.

SPECIAL SECTION: 2014 Winter Olympics

A statement from King said she is unable to attend because of her mother’s failing health.

“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,” she said.

The White House said Cahow, originally named as a member of the delegation in the closing ceremonies, will instead serve in King’s place as a member of the delegation for the opening ceremonies.

(Reporting By Steve Holland; editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid)

Local Headlines

in Local

Spencer Financial Condition

News CitySpencer1240

Spencer's Finance Director says the city's financial condition is "strong overall."

in Local

CCE Board Wrap

cce

The Clay Central Everly School Board met Monday night in regular session...

in Local

SMU Water Work

smunewbuilding

Water will be supplied from the 32nd Avenue Pump House through this Friday...

in Local

Weekly IMCA Races At Clay County Fair Speedway

speedway

Races will be held each Friday night from May 15th through July 31st...

in Local

Ernst In Spencer

jonispen

-Dozens gathered Monday for a meet and greet with Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Joni Ernst...