NEW YORK — Billie Jean King will not attend Friday's opening ceremony of the Sochi Olympics in Russia because her 91-year-old mother is ill.
King, the openly gay former tennis star 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.
"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," King said.