Home > Sport > Tennis
Thursday February 6, 2014 MYT 1:47:23 AM
Thursday February 6, 2014 MYT 1:48:14 AM
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former American tennis star Billie Jean King will be unable to join the official U.S. delegation attending the Sochi Winter Olympics opening ceremonies due to a serious illness in her family, the White House said on Wednesday.
King was one of three openly gay American athletes named to the U.S. delegation, along with skating champion Brian Boitano and ice hockey medallist Caitlin Cahow. Their selection was intended to send a message against Russia's anti-gay laws.
"The president extends his thoughts and prayers to Ms. King and her family in this difficult time," the White House said.
A statement from King said she is unable to attend because of her mother's failing health.
"It is important for me to be with my mother and my brother at this difficult time. 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," she said.
The White House said Cahow, originally named as a member of the delegation in the closing ceremonies, will instead serve in King's place as a member of the delegation for the opening ceremonies.
(Reporting By Steve Holland; editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid)
For Billie Jean King, 40 years after feats, women have 'so far to go'
Asian Olympic officials upset that athletes stopped from competing
Two courts to be roofed at U.S. Open venue
King of Clay looks to extend reign to hardcourts
Easy win for Stosur Aussie shows class to topple Japanese veteran Date-Krumm
Federer and Wawrinka to play Davis Cup final doubles
Federer skips Davis Cup final training with back problems
Federer set to face France in Davis Cup final
Wawrinka qualifies for ATP Tour finals semi
Gael-force Monfils blows France back into final
Stan ready to take on Federer and the crowd who love him
Italy regional votes to test public mood on Renzi
Eggs for a heart-healthy diet
Alonso hits back at Ferrari boss Mattiacci
Copyright © 1995-2014 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)