Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Billie Jean King to attend Sochi closing ceremony

Former tennis pro Billie Jean King didn’t travel to the opening ceremony because of her mother’s death.

Getty Images

Former tennis pro Billie Jean King didn’t travel to the opening ceremony because of her mother’s death.

WASHINGTON — Billie Jean King will attend the closing ceremony of the Sochi Olympics in Russia.

King, who didn't travel to the opening ceremony because of her mother's death, will join American speed skaters Bonnie Blair and Eric Heiden on Feb. 23 as part of President Barack Obama's official U.S. delegation.

King called it a "privilege" to attend. "I will use this trip to honor the memory of my mother and to further my mission of equality," she said in a statement to the Associated Press.

Russia has been widely criticized for passing a national law last year that banned gay "propaganda" to minors.

King and two other openly gay athletes — Brian Boitano and Caitlin Cahow — were selected for the delegation at the opening ceremony. Obama said it showed the United States doesn't make distinctions based on sexual orientation.

The White House said Friday the closing ceremony delegation will be headed by Deputy Secretary of State William Burns.

Billie Jean King to attend Sochi closing ceremony 02/15/14 [Last modified: Saturday, February 15, 2014 10:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs' Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson kneel during national anthem

    Bucs

    Bucs receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson both kneeled during the national anthem in protest before Sunday's game at the Vikings, two days after President Donald Trump made critical remarks about NFL …

    Bucs receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson both kneeled during the national anthem in protest before Sunday's game at the Vikings. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  2. Man dead, 4-year-old girl critically injured in Clearwater Beach boating crash

    Briefs

    A man was killed and a 4-year-old girl is in critical condition late Saturday after their personal watercraft collided with a boat in the Intracoastal Waterway near Clearwater Beach just before 5 p.m.

  3. 'If anyone can hear us … help.' Puerto Rico's mayors describe 'horror in the streets'

    World

    SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - In the northern Puerto Rican town of Vega Baja, the floodwaters reached more than 10 feet. Stranded residents screamed "save me, save me," using the lights in their cellphones to help rescue teams find them in the darkness, the town's mayor said.

  4. My AP Top 25 ballot: FSU out, USF, Florida Gators back in

    Blogs

    Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher still thinks he can have a good team, as I wrote in today's Tampa Bay Times. Maybe he's right.

  5. Forecast: Scattered thunderstorms in Tampa Bay; Maria could affect Carolinas

    Weather

    Scattered thunderstorms will threaten the Tampa Bay area Sunday, but most of the area will see sunshine.

    Scattered thunderstorms threaten Tampa Bay on Sunday. [Courtesy 10News WTSP]