Billie Jean King to attend Sochi closing ceremony

4:05 PM, Feb 15, 2014   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (AP) - She wasn't able to attend the Olympic opening ceremony in Russia as part of the official U.S. delegation because of the death of her mother. But now, Billie Jean King will be representing the United States at the closing ceremony next week.

She says it's a "privilege" -- and that she'll use the trip to honor her mother's memory, while also furthering what she calls her "mission of equality."

Russia has been widely criticized for passing a law last year banning gay "propaganda" to minors. King was one of three openly gay athletes who were selected for the U.S. delegation at the opening ceremony. President Barack Obama said it showed the U.S. doesn't make distinctions based on sexual orientation.

One of the other gay athletes chosen to go to the opening ceremony, Caitlin Cahow, says she experienced no backlash in Russia, and that everyone was "unbelievable welcoming."

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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