President Obama Snubs Sochi Olympics, Presumably Over Anti-Gay Laws
US President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will not attend the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
The US leaders are joining what is quickly becoming an elite group of non-attendees, refusing to go to the games, presumably over Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law.
The official US delegation includes two female athletes who are both openly gay, former tennis star Billie Jean King and Caitlin Cahow, Olympic silver medalist and bronze medalist in women’s ice hockey.
National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said the president’s schedule did not allow for him to travel to Sochi, however he would support American athletes.
“All our delegation members are distinguished by their accomplishments in government service, civic activism, and sports. We are proud of each and every one of them and think they will serve as great ambassadors of the United States to the Olympic Games”, she added.
Earlier this year, Obama rejected the idea of a US boycott of the Olympics despite a number of differences with Russia, including the anti-gay propaganda law.
This move, however, sends a strong signal, since in the past 2 Olympics, Vice President Joe Biden led the delegation (2010), and in 2012, first lady Michelle Obama held the honor.
The German President Joachim Gauck, the European Union’s commissioner for Justice, Citizenship and Fundamental Rights Viviane Reding, and French President Francois Hollande are also snubbing the Olympic games in Sochi.