Billie Jean King to miss Olympics opening

by: Jonathan Scott February 06, 2014

AP Photo

One of three openly gay stars of sport appearing in the U.S. presidential delegation to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Billie Jean King will miss the opening ceremonies to be by the side of her gravely ill mother.

"It is important for me to be with my mother and my brother at this difficult time," King told the Associated Press. "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." King's mother is 91-year-old Betty Moffitt, and her brother is Randy Moffitt, a former Major League Baseball pitcher.

Even as she deals with her mother's declining health, King told the Spin in December, "I would like to live to 7,000 years old. I get to see a lot of change, which I like. I like to see what future generations are thinking about, like what is important to your generation compared to my generation. What do you guys want for this world? You guys are shaping it now. I’m not. Well, hopefully I am shaping it a little bit."

She still intends to make the voyage to Russia, though she has been replaced at the opening ceremonies by former hockey player Caitlin Cahow, another of the gay and lesbian personalities serving as part of the U.S. group along with former figure skater Brian Boitano.

In a moment of humor, Saturday Night Live earlier spoofed King's visit to Sochi, with cast member Kate McKinnon performing a well-written bit with wily timing, if not anything close to actual vocal mimicry.

Got a thought, a tip, or a point to make? Hit me on Twitter @jonscott9.

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