Brian Boitano, Gold Medal-Winning Figure Skater, Comes Out as Gay

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Brian Boitano is one of those people Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson simply doesn't understand.

The 1988 Gold Medalist came out as gay yesterday, a couple days after he was named to the U.S. delegation for this winter's Olympics in Sochi, along with openly gay athletes Billie Jean King and Caitlin Cahow.

Brian Boitano Picture

"First and foremost I am an American athlete and I am proud to live in a country that encourages diversity, openness and tolerance," Boitano said in a statement. "As an athlete, I hope we can remain focused on the Olympic spirit which celebrates achievement in sport by peoples of all nations."

Russia has come under major fire for its law that outlaws "gay propaganda," with some even encouraging the United States to boycott the 2014 Winter Games.

But President Obama has said a better message would be sent if "gay and lesbian athletes bringing home the gold or silver or bronze."

That's true, but the Commander-in-Chief fired an early shot in this battle this week by naming these openly gay athletes in the delegation for the opening and closing ceremonies, as opposed to sending high-ranking officials.

Moreover, for the first time since 2000, America will not send a president, former president, first lady or vice president to the Olympics.

"I have been fortunate to represent the United States of America in three different Olympics, and now I am honored to be part of the presidential delegation to the Olympics in Sochi," Boitano, who is in Europe, added.

"It has been my experience from competing around the world and in Russia that Olympic athletes can come together in friendship, peace and mutual respect regardless of their individual country's practices."

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