President Obama said Friday the U.S. delegation to the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, “speaks for itself.” The president applauded the character of LGBT members of the delegation Billie Jean King and Brian Boitano, describing them as “world-class athletes.”
The president is not attending the games. Former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano will instead lead the U.S. delegation, along with LGBT athletes King, Boitano, and Caitlin Cahow.
“I think the delegation speaks for itself,” the president said. “You’ve got outstanding Americans, outstanding athletes, people who will represent us extraordinarily well. The fact that we’ve got Billie Jean King or Brian Boitano, who themselves have been world-class athletes that everyone acknowledges for their excellence but also for their character who also happen to be members of the LGBT community, you know, you should take that for what it’s worth.”
“When it comes to the Olympics and athletic performance, we don’t make distinctions on the basis of sexual orientation,” he added. “We judge people on how they perform both on the court and off the court, on the field and off the field. That’s a value that I think is at the heart of not just America, but American sports.”