Thursday, August 17, 2017

President Obama to skip Sochi Winter Olympic Games

The White House press service recently announced that President Barack Obama will not be attending the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, marking the first time a U.S. president, vice president or first lady would be absent from the Olympics since the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney.

The U.S. joins France and Germany in not sending senior government leaders to the games, leaving many wondering if Russia's same-sex ban is the reason for Obama's decision to not attend, RIA Novosti reports.

Moreover, the U.S. will be sending Billie Jean King, a gay tennis champion, and Caitlin Cahow, a gay ice hockey Olympic medalist, to Sochi as the American delegation to the opening and closing ceremonies.

"All our delegation members are distinguished by their accomplishments in government service, civic activism and sports," White House spokesman Shin Inouye said, according to RIA Novosti.

Despite Russia's passage of a law forbidding the promotion of non-heterosexual relationships last June, the International Olympic Committee maintains that the safety of all athletes is secure during the games.