Billie Jean King | News | Olympics | Sochi Olympics | Vladimir Putin

Billie Jean King Arrives In Sochi, Talks Gay Rights


Billie Jean King arrived in Sochi, Russia this weekend as a member of the presidential delegation to today's closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics. She came to the country with a message to the LGBT community.

The McClatchy Foreign Staff reports on her thoughts on holding the games in Russia:

“Having the Winter Olympics here, the situation here in Russia, has opened up dialogue,” King said Saturday. “I’m always big on love over hate, and I think it’s important that everyone’s treated equally and good to each other. Hopefully, the LGBT community here in Russia knows that they’re not alone and we’ll learn from them.”

The also told the BBC she believes the International Olympic Committee should take into account a country's position on gay rights when considering it for the games.

"In the [bid] process it would be helpful. I would like to see it but I also understand it's not that easy." "If you can it would cut down the number of [eligible] countries. Sometimes it's good to go to a country where things aren't as good and help change things."I'm sure they'll [IOC] be looking at things differently the next time.

King had planned to attend the opening ceremony of the Olympics but canceled due to her mother's failing health. Her mother passed away on February 7.

Watch a short ESPN interview with King in which she talks about Russia, the Olympics and Vladimir Putin, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Billy Jean King is a class act. We are lucky to have her. Always, she has stood for the rights of those who are marginalized. You could have posted be more flattering picture of her, Andy. Oh well.

    Posted by: Dattexas | Feb 23, 2014 11:00:01 AM

  2. Let's hope her return trip is a connecting flight with stops in Kansas and Arizona.

    Posted by: pete n sfo | Feb 23, 2014 11:18:35 AM

  3. I haven't seen any dialogue opening up during these games, only activists detained, deported, whipped ... With the IOC taking Putin's side! If anything, he is going to feel emboldened after the Olympics and things will get even worse.

    Posted by: borut | Feb 23, 2014 12:45:58 PM

  4. Just watched the closing ceremony.

    To IOC and all Sochi Athletes : Thanks, for nothing.

    Now that they're over Putin can send in the Russian Military to East Ukraine.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Feb 23, 2014 1:56:37 PM

  5. Still haven't heard that apolgy from MIKE RYAN and the others for their character assasanation on her?????

    Posted by: BETTY | Feb 23, 2014 3:34:19 PM

  6. Re: Jackfkntwist's post above...

    Totally agree with everything you wrote.

    The athletes have been REALLY disappointing. Especially the gay ones who totally pussied out. Traitors and self-serving wankers - every last one of them.

    I guess it's down to the Paralympians to show the douches how to man/woman up.

    Posted by: John | Feb 23, 2014 3:58:03 PM

  7. And then she left.....

    Posted by: styler | Feb 23, 2014 8:05:02 PM

  8. Video wouldn't play :(

    Posted by: Randy | Feb 23, 2014 9:15:51 PM

  9. STYLER and your various aliases: you are an idiot.

    Posted by: EYEROLL | Feb 23, 2014 11:03:37 PM

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