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Billie Jean King to miss opening ceremonies to be with mother

By Evan Hilbert | CBSSports.com

Billie Jean King will be unable to attend the opening ceremonies in Sochi.
Billie Jean King will be unable to attend the opening ceremonies in Sochi. (Getty Images)

Billie Jean King was chosen by President Obama to serve as a United States delegate at the Sochi Olympics Opening Ceremony, but the former tennis champion will be unable to attend due to her mother's failing health.

"I will not be able to join the U.S. Presidential delegation at this week's opening ceremonies of the Sochi Olympics," King told the Associated Press Wednesday.

"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."

King, one of three openly gay delegates chosen by Obama in what many viewed as a form of protest against Russia's anti-gay propoganda law, had planned to attend hockey games and figure skating events during her three days in Sochi.

"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 said in a statement.

The White House announced that former US hockey player Caitlin Cahow will take King's spot.

 
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