Officially, the Obamas and Joe Biden simply can’t make room in their schedules to attend the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Instead, a delegation featuring two openly gay athletes will represent the United States in the country where openly supporting gay rights is a crime. It’s pretty obvious the Obama administration did not accidentally find itself unable to send any top officials to the event — the Washington Post called it a “pointed snub” due to Russia’s anti-gay policies — but so far the administration hasn’t said anything explicit about why it’s abstaining.
An official White House statement announcing the delegation simply listed those who would be coming, led by University of California president (and former DHS secretary) Janet Napolitano, and including Tennis great Billie Jean King, and hockey player Caitlin Cahow. According to the Post, it will be the first time since 2000 that a U.S. Olympic delegation does not include a president, first lady, or vice president. Those pesky schedules!