Gold Medalist Brian Boitano Announces He’s Gay Ahead of Sochi Olympics

Posted Thursday December 19, 2013 3:43 PM GMT

He’s kept his sexuality private for many years, but after the recent drama involving the 2014 Sochi Olympics Brian Boitano is finally ready to open up about being a gay man.

In a statement released this afternoon (December 19), the Olympic gold medalist announced, "I am many things: a son, a brother, and uncle, a friend, an athlete, a cook, an author, and being gay is just one part of who I am.”

This statement makes the 50-year-old figure skater the third openly gay athlete appointed by President Barack Obama to the official US delegation team for the upcoming winter games. Boitano joins women’s hockey player Caitlin Cahow and tennis pro Billie Jean King in support for the LGBT community after Russia publicly addressed its rejection of the gay community.

"It is my desire to be defined by my achievements and my contributions," said Boitano. "While I am proud to play a public role in representing the American Olympic Delegation as a former Olympic athlete, I have always reserved my private life for my family and friends and will continue to do so."

"First and foremost I am an American athlete and I am proud to live in a country that encourages diversity, openness and tolerance. As an athlete, I hope we can remain focused on the Olympic spirit which celebrates achievement in sport by peoples of all nations."

As for the upcoming games, President Obama and Michelle announced that they will not attend due to Russia’s stance on homosexuality. Others boycotting the games include Vice President Joe Biden, German President Joachim Gauck and French counterpart Francois Hollande.