Tennis legend Billie Jean King is one of three openly gay athletes in the delegation that will represent the United States in Sochi. While the appointment of such a diverse group raised eyebrows, especially considering Russia's avowed stance against pro-gay propaganda, King is insisting that there is no overt statement being made.
Speaking on The Today Show on Thursday morning, King sought to keep the focus where it belongs: on the athletes. "I think when it all comes down to is it's first and foremost about the athletes," she said. "I was thinking about it this morning, trying to go way back when I was one of those athletes and how many years of discipline and how hard they work every day. This could be their one moment in time that they first represent their country and go for a medal."
However, King noted that it will be impossible to separate the political overtones from the athletic competition, especially considering the fact that she, skater Brian Boitano and hockey player Caitlin Cahow are all open about their sexual orientation. As for an overt statement? King believes that's already been made.
"I think President Obama showed it," she said. He's elected and selected three openly gay athletes ... I think Brian Boitano said it right. When we step off the plane, we are part of America. We are what America looks like. I think President Obama has done an amazing job on promoting diversity and inclusion."
King noted that she is not worried about safety at the Games, based on the amount of security that will be in force in Sochi.