Today - Season 2013
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TODAY   |  December 19, 2013

Caitlin Cahow on being Olympic delegate: ‘I was thrilled’

Two-time Olympic medalist Caitlin Cahow, who is openly gay, said she was elated to hear the news that she would serve as a U.S. delegate at the Olympics, and believes that the Games provide her an opportunity to inspire others.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> sochi as a member of the official u.s. delegation. kate lyn, it's good to see you. good morning. how did you hear the news?

>> i had a member of the white house to call me. that was a surprise to get on my cell phone unknown number. so i answered it. i heard the news. i was elated. i was thrilled.

>> people are saying because you were openly gay and billy jean king is openly gay , there is a statement. this is a message being sent to russia 's government and president. do you feel as if you are a part of the statement?

>> honestly, matt, i think the president has been very opened about his feelings about russian policy, he has been very opened about lbgt policies here at home, too much i'm going over to sochi representing a country that has made the most dramatic solicit on some of these issues in the last few years. i am very proud to be represent tack diversity.

>> let me ask a blunt question. i don't mean any disrespect by this dunk you would have been chosen if you weren't gay?

>> i can't speak to that i. i wasn't on the election committee . i think i stand for a lot of issues when i'm in sochi . the reality is right now i have been selected and i will do my best to support our athletes.

>> billy jean king said perhaps it is time for a john car loss moment. you are too young to remember that moment in 1968 in mexico city , john carlos and johnny smith stood up and gave the black power salute because they wanted to suppress racial inequality . would you be willing to be a part of a john carlos moment in sochi ?

>> actually i think my john carlos moment is going to russia and representing the united states . like i said before this delegation represents so much more than lbgt diverse tip. we have a remarkable diversity in the united states . i think that's what all the athletes will be demonstrating.

>> some people criticized the president already criticizing politics in sports. there is a lot of disagreements between the united states and russia . not only this issue. we have edward snowden, the issue of syria. as an athlete and someone who has participated in the olympics , does it distract an athlete when politics are brought into the olympic competition?

>> i think the olympics are going to have politics involved. it's hard to divorce the two. what i would say is the great thing about the olympics is every two years we get the opportunity not only to be inspired by amazing human achievements, but to hold the mirror up to our faces and say what can we be doing better? we can be better. there is still inequality in the united states that has nothing to do with lbgt rights. i think it would be great to be inspired and come home and get back to work.

>> the russians said there will be no repercussions for any athletes or bystander wearing rainbow arm bands. do you think we will see protests?

>> i think many people feel strongly about the issue. i think there will be statements that are made. i would say my main goal is to make sure athletes and spectators stay safe and this is a peaceful olympics and everyone is able to appreciate and take in the amazing quality the olympics provide.

>> quickly, a question i didn't expect this morning because the story developed overnight. the patriarch of the "duck dynasty" show has made some controversial comments about homosexuality. do you care to respond to them at all?

>> obviously, i'm disappointed. words that are negative in that way hurt everyone i think. they reflect poorly on us as a society. i do understand there are changing ways in the united states and people are adapting and evolving and i like to give people the benefit of the doubt . so i hope that some minds are changed through those statements. i look forward to tomorrow when these classifications no longer exist.

>> kate lynn, congratulations on being named to the official delegation. with elook forward to seeing you in sochi -- we look forward to seeing you