POLITICS
02/12/2014 11:11 am ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Brian Boitano Recalls Decision To Come Out Ahead Of Winter Olympics In Sochi

Olympic gold medalist Brian Boitano join HuffPost Live this week for a candid chat about his coming out experience and recent visit to Sochi, Russia.

"It was a big decision for me, because I had always been out to my friends and family," Boitano, 50, recalled. "Everybody always knew, so I didn't consider myself 'out' or 'in' ... For a public person I had a personal life, a private life, and I always kept that aspect of my life for people who were close to me."

Still, when President Barack Obama chose him to join the 2014 Winter Olympics delegation to Sochi, Boitano said he was inspired to come out as gay in an effort to "support the country and the president's message" on a bigger platform.

"It was a hard decision for me, though. I'm inherently a private person and I always kept that as a special side for family and friends who knew me," he said. "When you're an athlete and you have other projects on your plate, you want to be known for your accomplishments. Being gay is just one aspect of who I am."

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