Obama, Biden to skip Sochi Games

The Washington Post

The White House announced Tuesday that President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and the first lady will not attend the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, in February, a pointed snub by an administration that is feuding with Russian leaders on a range of foreign policy and human rights issues.

The U.S. delegation will be led by a former Cabinet secretary and a deputy secretary of state, and will include two openly gay athletes — tennis legend Billie Jean King and ice hockey player Caitlin Cahow — in an apparent bid to highlight opposition to Russia’s anti-homosexual laws.

It marks the first time since the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney that a U.S. Olympics delegation did not include a president, first lady or vice president. The White House made the announcement in a news release late Tuesday.

Officials said Obama’s schedule would not permit him to attend the games during a two-week period beginning Feb. 7, although they did not specify what the president would be doing instead.