After not being a part of the U.S. delegation for the Sochi Olympics’ Opening Ceremony due to her mother’s illness, tennis legend Billie Jean King will be a member of the delegation for the Closing Ceremony next Sunday, Feb. 23.
King was selected by U.S. president Barack Obama to be part of the Opening Ceremony delegation, but instead chose to be at the side of her mother, Betty Moffitt.
“It is important for me to be with my mother and my brother at this difficult time,” King said on Feb. 5. “I want to thank President Obama for including me in this historic mission and I look forward to supporting our athletes as they compete in Sochi.”
Moffitt, 91, passed away on Feb. 7 – the day of the official start of these Games – at her home in Arizona.
Obama named King and two other openly gay athletes, figure skater Brian Boitano and hockey player Caitlin Cahow, as part of the Opening Ceremony delegation in an apparent sign of disagreement with Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law.
Going into Sochi, King said that she hoped the Olympics would not be overshadowed by anything taking away focus from the athletes.
On that note, Cahow has told the Associated Press that she has received no negative backlash so far in Sochi.