"I have dedicated my life to the Olympic movement and the ideals of excellence, friendship and respect. I wish that my personal religious beliefs would not have become a distraction from the amazing things that are happening in the Olympic movement in the United States. I simply cannot have my presence become a detriment to the U.S. Olympic family. I hope that by stepping aside, the athletes and their stories will rightly take center stage."
Statement from gymnast Peter Vidmar, a gold-medalist at the 1984 Olympics, announcing he will step down from his recently acquired position as Chef de Mission. A Mormon, Vidmar reportedly supported California's discriminatory Proposition 8 and appeared at two anti-gay marriage rallies. (USA Today)
On Thursday, Johnny Weir, the well-known gay Olympic ice skater, called Vidmar's representation of the American team "disgraceful." (Chicago Tribune)
"I certainly wouldn't want to be represented by someone who is anti gay marriage. It isn't just about marriage, it is being allowed equal rights as Americans."
According to Vidmar's website, he is also an author, and a "top 10" corporate speaker who converts "Olympic Gold into Corporate Wisdom."