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Billie Jean King Won't Attend Sochi Opening

Updated: Wednesday, February 5 2014, 03:25 PM CST

Billie Jean King will not attend Friday's opening ceremony of the Sochi Olympics in Russia because her mother is ill.

King, who was selected to help lead the U.S. delegation to the Games, has been outspoken in her opposition to Russia's anti-gay law. She also planned to attend ice hockey and figure skating events and meet U.S. athletes during her three-day visit to the games.

The White House announced Wednesday that former U.S. hockey player Caitlin Cahow, originally scheduled for the closing ceremony, will take King's place.

King told The Associated Press that because of 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."

Betty Moffitt, her 91-year-old mother, lives in Arizona and has been ill for some time. King will be joined by her brother Randy Moffitt, a former pitcher for the San Francisco Giants.

"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."

The openly gay former tennis star has said she would like sexual orientation added to the list of protections in the charter of the International Olympic Committee. King was chosen in December for the U.S. delegation, along with openly gay former Olympic figure skater Brian Boitano and Cahow.

In June, Russia passed a law banning gay "propaganda" to minors. In an interview with the AP last month, King said: "It should be a non-issue. It's just like people of color in our country and other places, it has to be a non-issue."

President Barack Obama has been publicly critical of the Russian anti-gay law and President Vladimir Putin's "cold-war" mentality on other issues. For the first time since 2000, the U.S. delegation to the Olympics will not include a president, former president, vice president or first lady.

The 70-year-old King, a social justice trailblazer who won 39 Grand Slam titles in her career, was tapped to enter the fray involving the delicate balance of Olympic sports and politics.

Other members of the U.S. delegation for the opening ceremony include former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul and presidential adviser Rob Nabors.

The White House statement said "The President extends his thoughts and prayers to Ms. King and her family in this difficult time."

(Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Billie Jean King Won't Attend Sochi Opening


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Scores & Schedules

July 23, 2014 07:37 GMT

INTERLEAGUE

Tampa Bay 7 St. Louis 2

Arizona 5 Detroit 4

N-Y Mets 3 Seattle 1

AMERICAN LEAGUE Tuesday's Games

N.Y. Yankees 2, Texas 1, 14 innings

Toronto 7, Boston 3

Cleveland 8, Minnesota 2

Kansas City 7, Chicago White Sox 1

Baltimore 4, L.A. Angels 2

Houston 3, Oakland 2, 12 innings

Wednesday's Games

Cleveland (Bauer 4-4) at Minnesota (Swarzak 1-0), 1:10 p.m.

Kansas City (Shields 9-5) at Chicago White Sox (Quintana 5-7), 2:10 p.m.

Texas (Darvish 9-5) at N.Y. Yankees (Phelps 4-4), 7:05 p.m.

Boston (Buchholz 5-5) at Toronto (Dickey 7-10), 7:07 p.m.

Baltimore (Tillman 7-5) at L.A. Angels (Weaver 10-6), 10:05 p.m.

Houston (Peacock 3-6) at Oakland (J.Chavez 7-6), 10:05 p.m.

NATIONAL LEAGUE Tuesday's Games

Pittsburgh 12, L.A. Dodgers 7

San Francisco 9, Philadelphia 6, 14 innings

Miami 6, Atlanta 5

Chicago Cubs 6, San Diego 0

Milwaukee 4, Cincinnati 3

Washington 7, Colorado 4

Wednesday's Games

Cincinnati (Leake 7-8) at Milwaukee (Lohse 10-4), 2:10 p.m.

Washington (Strasburg 7-7) at Colorado (J.De La Rosa 10-6), 3:10 p.m.

L.A. Dodgers (Haren 8-7) at Pittsburgh (Liriano 1-7), 7:05 p.m.

San Francisco (Bumgarner 11-7) at Philadelphia (A.Burnett 6-9), 7:05 p.m.

Miami (Eovaldi 5-5) at Atlanta (E.Santana 8-6), 7:10 p.m.

San Diego (Kennedy 7-9) at Chicago Cubs (Wada 0-0), 8:05 p.m.

INTERLEAGUE

Detroit (A.Sanchez 6-4) at Arizona (Cahill 1-6), 3:40 p.m.

N.Y. Mets (B.Colon 8-8) at Seattle (T.Walker 1-1), 3:40 p.m.

Tampa Bay (Cobb 5-6) at St. Louis (Lynn 11-6), 7:15 p.m.

WNBA

Tuesday's Games

Chicago 60, Indiana 57

Minnesota 112, Atlanta 108, OT

San Antonio 95, Tulsa 93

Phoenix 89, Seattle 71

Wednesday's Games

Connecticut at Washington, 11:30 a.m.

New York at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m.

MLS

Wednesday, July 23

Chicago at San Jose, 10:30 p.m.

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KEYE-TV Sports Team


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