Mother's illness keeps Billie Jean King from U.S. Olympic delegation duties

Tennis great Billie Jean King will not attend the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia because of her mother’s “failing health.”

King was selected in December to be one of three openly gay athletes to lead the U.S. delegation to Russia. The U.S. had been vocal in its protest of Russia’s anti-gay laws.

King’s mother, Betty Moffitt, 91, lives in Arizona and has been ill for awhile. King and her brother Randy Moffitt, a former pitcher for the San Francisco Giants, will both be at their mother’s side.

"It is important for me to be with my mother and my brother at this difficult time,” King told the Associated Press. “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."

King had planned to attend ice hockey and figure skating events and meet U.S. athletes during her three-day trip. She also hoped to discuss adding sexual orientation to the list of protections in the charter of the International Olympic Committee.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at or follow her on Twitter!

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