Sent to Sochi as part of Barack Obama’s U.S. Olympic delegation, New England native Caitlin Cahow praised the Russians for their friendliness and said she did not feel they discriminated against her as a homosexual.
“Everyone was wonderful,” Cahow told The Associated Press. “The Olympics are humbling every time you go . . . because you realize you’re part of a global event.”
Cahow said her homosexuality only came into question during media interviews upon her arrival, when she was prompted more so by American reporters than by their Russian counterparts.
“Everyone knew who we were, and I’m quite certain we didn’t experience a single problem,” Cahow said in a telephone interview from Boston. “If anything, they were unbelievably welcoming.”
At the opening ceremony, Cahow replaced former tennis player Billie Jean King, who could not attend because her mother was ill. Other members of the U.S. delegation included presidential advisor Rob Nabors and former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. The delegates sat near Vladimir Putin during the ceremony, which Cahow said was an inspiring experience.
“I’m very proud to represent my country,” Cahow said. “I’m also proud to be a member of the LGBT community representing the United States.”
Cahow played for the U.S. women’s hockey team in 2006 and 2010 Olympics, where the ladies claimed bronze and silver, respectively. She is a Harvard graduate currently studying at Boston College Law School.
Cahow said the Olympics were less stressful than when she was a competitor but equally as exciting.
“For me, I didn’t want to sleep,” she said. “There were too many things to learn, too many conversations to have.”
Photo via Twitter/@OchoCahow